Pickled PC is dedicated to the fight against PC disasters. And staying true to such a mantra, allow me to unveil the number one PC disaster, with the hope that you too can avoid such demise. So what could be so terrible as to be worthy of such a title? Well it’s the ever so common malware infection.
With everyday computer usage comes countless opportunities to catch these nasty little bugs. Below I have outlined the most common ways the average user contracts malware infections.
The Absence of Protection
Sometimes the most enigmatic issue can have an incredibly simple solution. Use protection! Even the simplest of antivirus software can prevent a great deal of infections. Most new computers come with free trials of security software, making access to protection even easier. A list of popular security solutions can be found here.
Failure to Update
Keeping all your software up to date, including Windows, can solve so many issues I can’t even begin to tell you. Your security software can’t protect you if it doesn’t know about all those new threats out there. Microsoft periodically releases updates addressing vulnerabilities that viruses and other infections are trained to exploit. To check for Windows Updates click here.
Buying a new computer? Well that shiny new PC has been sitting in a warehouse for a few months, making it dangerously vulnerable to malware and hackers without the latest security updates and patches. All it takes is a few simple clicks to increase your protection exponentially.
Read before clicking! How many of us are guilty of simply accepting what we see on the screen without fully reading and understanding the prompt? I know we’re all in a hurry but taking that extra five minutes can help you avoid hours of stress and headaches. With viruses that masquerade as security software, spyware that tracks your every move, toolbars that slow you down, and adware that leads to plenty of popups, it’s worth taking those few extra minutes just to be on the safe side.
Paranoia has its uses. Another common opportunity for infection is opening e-mail attachments, even those from people you know. Your acquaintance could easily be sending you an infected file. Odds are if it looks strange it probably is. A good rule of thumb, when you receive an e-mail with an attachment, approach with caution. If it’s from someone you don’t know simply delete it.
Argh! It be Piracy!
We’re all broke, but is the risk worth it? The issue with illegal downloading is simply this, you don’t know where these files are coming from or where they’ve been. Anyone could easily attach some piece of malware to your favorite song or movie and put it back into cyberspace for you to download. So is it worth paying that extra dollar to download from a reputable source? That’s for you to decide. There are some nasty infections out there and it can get expensive to remove them.
Informing yourself is the first step in fighting PC disasters.