6 Helpful Tips to Keep Your Computer Safe

As you know, the health and safety of your computer network and workstations are vital to your business operations.

 As a full-service IT managed service provider, we have seen our fair share of malware and computer infections.  There are countless threats, both online and off, and it’s imperative that you not only have the right tools in place (i.e. antivirus software, firewalls, etc), but that you remain vigilant when you’re using the internet.

Below are 6 tips that we share with our managed IT clients to help keep their machines safe from malware.

  1. Avoid clicking on links and opening files attached to emails received from unknown or unrecognized senders. Spam is still a popular method that cybercrooks use to spread malware, whether it’s by sending you to a website rigged to exploit vulnerabilities within your web browser to install malware, or by attaching a malicious file directly to the email itself. Keep your machine safe by not downloading file attachments or following any suspicious links embedded in unsolicited emails.
  2. Verify all email attachments from known senders prior to opening them. Cybercriminals often spoof the sender’s email address, which means that they can make emails look like they came from a legitimate source. As a result, it is recommended that you either contact the sender (using a different form of communication other than email) to verify that they did send you the email with file attachments. Or, if you’re unable to reach them, you can also scan the file by forwarding it to scan@virustotal.com. VirusTotal is a free online scanner that uses over 50 anti-malware engines to scan files for malware.
  3. When surfing the internet, never click on a link that appears in a popup. If you visit a website or an unexpected web page opens, immediately close it. There are a lot of scams and websites booby-trapped with malware, so stick to visiting highly-reputable websites and trust your instincts if something seems “off” or “strange” about a website. Additionally, you may want to install security browser add-ons like NoScript and AdBlock Plus to protect your computer from malicious ads and other cyberattacks.
  4. Never download programs from websites that you do not use regularly. Downloading files from unfamiliar websites can put your computer at risk of a malware infection. Only download files and/or programs from reputable websites.
  5. Make sure that you restart your workstation daily so that it receives regular updates from the network and helps keep your workstations maintain optimal performance. System updates not only provide you with new features, but important security updates that will help keep your computer safe. Additionally, restarting your computer is the equivalent to clearing off all of the junk on your desk and starting with a new clean slate.
  6. Utilize caution when using thumb drives (also known as USB drives), CD’s or DVD’s that were given to you from outside sources such as sales presentations or trade shows. Never use a device, CD or DVD that you have found. Many types of malware are capable of spreading via removable thumb drives, so avoid putting your PC at unnecessary risk by avoiding suspicious media.

Do you think your computer is infected with malware?

If you believe that you may have accidentally infected your workstation, immediately shutdown your computer and call technical support. We offer malware-removal services to our managed IT service clients. Need help or interested in learning more about our managed IT services? Call us at 858-268-4774!

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