Although software developers have taken enormous strides towards combating viruses over the last decade, they remain one of the most potent cyberthreats on the web. Furthermore, if your computer seems to contract viruses on a regular basis, there’s a good chance the explanation isn’t simple bad luck. Without even realizing it, many of us engage in practices that make our computers less safe and compromise our overall cybersecurity. Anyone curious as to why viruses keep popping up on their computers should consider the following explanations.
You Don’t Have Dedicated Antivirus Software
Operating systems today are far more resilient against viruses than the O.S.s of decades past. Because of this, many people have come to believe that they no longer need dedicated antivirus software. While there’s no denying that modern operating systems provide users with a fair amount of security, they are by no means flawless, and if you’re serious about keeping viruses at bay, you’ll need advanced antivirus protection.
The right antivirus software will be able to identify and eradicate a growing number of viruses, thus providing you with tremendous peace of mind and keeping your computer out of harm’s way. For best results, take care to update the software as needed and run regular virus scans.
Your Browsing Habits Are Unsafe
Unsafe browsing habits are among the leading causes of virus protection. Fortunately, correcting these habits is well within your abilities. For starters, you should avoid visiting sites that lack a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate. SSL certification ensures that the data that passes from your browser to a site’s server is secured, whereas this data may be visible to third parties on sites without SSL certificates. To confirm that a site has an SSL certificate, simply look at the URL and make sure it begins with “HTTPS” instead of “HTTP.”
Secondly, you should avoid clicking ads on sites with which you’re not particularly familiar. If you see an ad for a product or business that you find particularly enticing, just do a quick search for it and visit the official site. Additionally, since viruses are often spread through ads, you’d do well to use a good ad blocker when surfing the web. If your preferred browser doesn’t feature a built-in ad blocker, you may need to install one as an attachment.
You should also avoid clicking suspicious links found in emails. For one thing, you should never click links found in messages from unknown sources. Even if a message purports to be from a person or business you trust, take care to read the link over carefully prior to clicking it. Some cybercriminals tailor their links to very closely resemble links to legitimate sites. (In fact, in many cases, there’s only a one letter difference.) Needless to say, if anything about an email gives you pause, you should abstain from clicking any links contained therein, as it’s entirely possible that a cybercriminal has come into possession of your contacts list.
You Use Unsecured Internet Connections
If you use public Wi-Fi networks on a regular basis, you should know that these networks generally lack the same level of security as private networks. As such, some cybercriminals use these networks to slip malware onto people’s computers. Furthermore, since public networks are often unencrypted, they can also be hotbeds of data theft. So, if you regularly sign in to various accounts and enter important passwords on public networks, there’s a chance that third parties are recording this data.
In order to keep yourself safe when using public Wi-Fi, equip your computer with a good virtual private network (VPN). In essence, a VPN creates a secure virtual tunnel through which you can go about your business on the web without having to worry about the prying eyes and machinations of cybercriminals and other third parties.
Few things are more frustrating than dealing with computer viruses on a regular basis. Although high-level viruses have the potential to turn your life upside down, even lower-tier ones stand to cause you a fair amount of stress. As such, if computer viruses have become an all-too-common problem for you, it’s high time you started investigating potential causes. More often than not, viruses are able to materialize as a result of certain behaviors on the part of PC users, so if any of the items discussed above apply to you, you’d do well to nip these issues in the bud.