When we talk about protecting your PC there is a nuance that may seem minor, but is actually very important, and that is we are talking about protecting yourself. Although over the years an important part of the personal information that we keep on the computer has been moving to smartphones and tablets, the PC continues to be the main tool for both work and leisure for many users and, therefore, the main objective for many cybercriminals.
Thus, protecting your PC is protecting your daily activity, your work, both the information that you manage and store in it and that generated by your own activity (access data to services, means of payment, conversation history, websites to which you access, people with whom you relate and a long etcetera), a set of assets that, in the wrong hands, can compromise you in multiple aspects and that, therefore, you must keep safe.
The problem is that, even today, there are still people who neglect security, either because they think that “it is not so bad” or that it “does not go with them”, or because they have the wrong concept that it is very complicated . Protecting your PC is not something complex and, what is more important, it’s terribly simpler (and economic, that is also important), than to face the potential consequences of being victims of an attack.
To make it even easier, we have created a list of six key points to protect your PC: have the protection of an antivirus, filter network traffic with a firewall, install a VPN for Windows and other recommendations.If you comply with what is indicated in it, you can have the peace of mind of knowing you are protected.
Protect your PC with an antivirus
There are still many people who think that this protection is unnecessary, that they do not need it. Big mistake, cybercriminals have worked on the evolution of malware and pathogens, as well as their vectors for spreading. Thus, if a few years ago it was reasonably possible to identify malware, today is much more complicated, since attackers dedicate a significant part of their efforts to appearances, that is, to making everything appear as legitimate as possible.
Imagine, for example, that you access a legitimate web page, that you know and from which you download a document or an application. Who guarantees that the security of that web server has not been compromised, and that the file you downloaded is malicious? Or that you receive an email from a trusted contact with a “credible” attachment and that you were also waiting, Are you sure no one has spied on your communications and have you introduced a pathogen taking advantage of the thread of them? Safe enough to put your hand in the fire? I already imagined that not …
There are many ways in which malware can arrive, so to protect your PC, having an antivirus is an absolute must.
Protect your PC with a firewall
A key aspect to protect your PC is control of incoming and outgoing network traffic, and for this nothing better than a firewall. And it is that although routers, in many cases, already provide some functions of this type, over time we end up opening and redirecting ports, either manually or thanks to the automatic configuration functions provided by systems such as UPnP (Universal Plug and Play).
Thanks to a firewall, you will be able to protect your PC from malicious traffic both incoming (illegitimate connection attempts to your PC) and outgoing (in the hypothetical case that some malware has sneaked into your system).
Protect your PC with backups
When we talk about protecting your PC, we have already said it before, we talk about protect your digital assets from a thousand different threats. And it is that they can be threatened by malware, but also by ransomware, by software and hardware failures … The objective is, of course, that the files are not compromised, but in case of a problem, have a backup copy makes the big difference between a solvable incident and a problem that is difficult to solve (or directly unsolvable, in many cases).
Whether on a NAS, in a cloud service, on external storage media, there are a thousand alternatives to protect your PC by making backup copies, so so you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs, choose the backup software you prefer and schedule the periodicity of the copies.
Protect your PC with a VPN
Spending just a couple of minutes to think about the amount of information that we transmit and receive through the Internet, should make us think deeply about security measures that we take in relation to them. And this rises exponentially if we talk about unsecured networks. To avoid the risks associated with insecure connections, the best option is to use a VPN.
Years ago, these types of services were used almost exclusively in the business environment, but for some time now they have become popular, and today there is a extensive range of services of this type for all types of users. In MuyComputer we have talked to you on multiple occasions about them, services with which, like Surfshark, you only have to download VPN for Windows and, immediately, you will have already protected your connections from prying eyes.
Protect your PC with security measures
There are certain habits that you must incorporate into, and day to day to protect your PC. They are simple habits that, however, sometimes we forget, and that are detrimental to our security. Let’s quickly go over some of them_
Update the operating system: It is true that operating system updates sometimes lead to some problems. However, and especially with regard to security updates, such as monthly patch tuesdays, it is advisable to delay their application as little as possible.
Update your applications: Something that I have observed over the years is that many users update the operating system more frequently than the applications they use in it. And although quite often these updates are related to software functions, there are others in which security problems are also corrected. Review them and apply them to protect your PC.
Secure your passwords: a Windows login with your name and no password, easily deductible access codes to online services … insecure passwords are a huge security threat. You can trust your memory or use a password manager, but make sure that the ones you use are strong, unique (no recycling the same password across multiple services), and still remember to change them frequently.
Protect your PC with common sense
The measures of the previous step, and to a lesser extent also those of the rest, could be included in this section. However, at this point the objective is to emphasize the actions we take in certain circumstances. We must start from a base: no one is going to send you a lot of euros, dollars or bitcoins, no model has seen your photos on a social network and has written to your email account to contact you, you are not the only heir of a Central African millionaire.
Fighting confirmation bias is an important security measure to protect your PC. If you doubt the legitimacy of a communication, contact its issuer directly by another means to verify its authenticity, if you receive attachments that you have not asked for or expected, be suspicious and always use secure communication channels. And be careful what you download from the Internet and what data you share. Your safety depends, first and foremost, on yourself.