How to Protect Your Computer From Viruses and Spyware

There are so many viruses, spyware and malware infections on the internet, it’s hard to feel safe even just checking your email.  Clicking on one wrong link can cause your computer to start running incredibly slow, lead to losing important files or even cause you to have to reinstall your operating system.  Many people think that they are protected if they have an antivirus software suite on their computer, but that is only part of keeping your computer safe.

Keep Your Antivirus Software Up To Date
To begin with, you need to make sure that your antivirus software is up to date.  This includes making sure that all virus definitions are downloaded on your computer.  If your software isn’t looking for all of the newest threats to your computer, your protective software cannot do its job.  Additionally, if you have a paid antivirus software subscription, the subscriptions usually only last for one year.  When your subscription expires, the software no longer works and is not protecting your computer any more.

Make Sure You Have AntiSpyware Software Also

Having an up to date antivirus program is a huge part of keeping your computer and files safe, but if you do not have a built in antispyware program, you are still not completely protected.  Viruses are programs that infect your computer and programs, causing them not to work.  Spyware will cause similar results, but these type of infections keep your internet from working correctly.  Spyware can also share your information, such as credit card numbers and bank account information, with hackers.  If your antivirus program does not have a spyware scanner also, be sure to download one to keep your PC safe from all types of threats.

Set Up Full System Scans
Also important to keep your computer protected is running scheduled deep scans of your computer. While having an antivirus suite running in the background of your computer will help filter out most threats, no program can catch everything. Almost all computer security suites allow for scheduling a weekly full computer scan that will double check for threats that may have slipped past the software. These scans usually take several hours, so it is a good idea to schedule them in the middle of the night so it does not interrupt your normal computer use.

 Install a Software Firewall
Another method to help keep your computer safe is to install a software firewall.  While many routers come with built in firewalls, they are ineffective against anything other than hackers.  They will not help keep your computer safe from malicious software.  However, there are software firewalls that you can install on your PC that will allow you to select a list of programs that are allowed internet access.  This means that any suspicious programs can be locked down before they can do any damage to your computer.

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