How to Protect Your Computer
Written by ♠ Aldrin ♠
Welcome my muffins! Now I know that the internet is a marvelous... truly glorious place, filled with cat videos, memes, and funny images of Mr. Trump. But, the internet is also a very dark and hazardous place. Think of the internet as a town. In it, you have friends, neighbors, and markets to go buy things. However, thieves and crooks lurk in the shadows, picking on easy prey to give them "nice things" that are actually hazardous to their PC's health and security. Yet unlike the streets of a town, you can protect yourselves easily and for free. The example of the internet being a town will be my main analogy for this blog. Your computer will be the pedestrian in this eerie town we call "The Internet."
Viruses are not something that should be taken so lightly. Ever had a virus on your PC? Ever seen what it can do to it? Just one simple mistake you make on the internet can literally knock out your computer for good. Think of it like this; your computer walks through the streets, the sun is shining and it all seems well. Your computer sees a stray cat, that looks a bit moggy, but meows, purrs, and strokes itself on your PC's leg, so your PC goes to pet it. It bites your PC. Your PC is now infected. Depending on the disease your PC has, the symptoms and effects can differ. The cat represents a dodgy email download, or you simply opening a hazardous web page, or watching a video online and every time I talk of it's "owner," I mean the person who sent the malicious virus in the first place to your PC.
If your PC has a worm, then your PC and the rest of those who hang around it are in trouble. In other words, any PC that shares the same Internet connection as yours, they are also likely to be at risk. Worms allow the "owner" of the cat to see what files you have and what you're doing on your PC, but not much else in ideal circumstances.
Second, is the Ransomware Virus. The Ransomware Virus basically means that once it's in your PC, it will block you from getting onto your browser, or even your entire PC. Commonly found on illegal streaming sites (such as for movies or TV shows) or only recently, found to be on pornography websites, the Ransomware gets on by being downloaded from the internet, and will demand from you money or a fine by the government or by the police, saying you broke the law. Do not click that pay button. Its a scare tactic to get you to give the cat's owner money from you.
Next is the common computer virus - the most numerous and abundant. The normal virus will fiddle with your PC's "organs" if you will, disrupting data files and making them not work anymore, destroy important documents you might have, or if your PC is very, very unlucky, can fiddle around with your PC's operating system (Windows 7, 8, 10, etc.) and mean it won't even turn on anymore.
Most lethally, the Trojan virus. The Trojan can only get into your PC by being attached to a downloadable file. Once downloaded, the Trojan gets to work. Looking through all of your files, your internet history, there is nowhere it can't access on your PC now. Yet when it finds something juicy, such as your saved bank details on a website, it will send them to the cat's "owner" and you could be seeing a lot of money in your account just... vanish. Poof. Gone. Trojan Viruses also have been known to do something known as "Camfecting" where it gives the cat's "owner" full access to your PC's webcam, and they can see everything you're doing.
But no worries, whilst this may now deter you from ever going on the internet again, or even... petting cats ever again, there are ways to protect yourself from these dangers.
The first is simple. Get Virus Protection and Firewall software. Going on the internet without proper virus protection is like your PC walking into an Ebola hospital without a protective suit. Now whilst most systems come with virus protection, like Windows, these protection systems are usually atrocious. I mean it. They might as well not be there. If you have an Apple device, you're pretty much safe as Virus Protection find it hard to get into Apple products, but that's a whole other can of tuna that I won't go into. However, it is still better to be safer than sorry. And don't worry, all of the stuff I will show you is completely free.
Here are all of the software that Windows recommend you should get. You don't have to get them all, but one or two is strongly recommended. (Although, in that list, it says Norton. Don't get it. Norton is so awful, that it will sometimes detect ITSELF as a hazard and delete ITSELF. No word of a lie.)
That's the shield to protect yourself. But you now need a sword. These software providers may have good virus protection, but I wouldn't shout about any of their virus scanning programmes. They take too long and don't go deep enough into the bowels of your PC. I recommend this software, MalwareBytes. This system goes right into the guts of your PC to find nasty viruses; even the most illusive. I've used it for 4 years and it hasn't let me down yet.
This is a given - never save bank details or passwords on any online shopping or online banking websites. Seriously. Don't. If a hacker finds either of them out, you're in deep, deep trouble. And make sure your passwords are secure as well; by that I mean don't have your passwords as "123456ABC" because say bye-bye to your money or private information. Here's a list of the most popular, and quite frankly, stupid passwords.
Lastly, make sure that you ALWAYS update your software, hardware, whatever. Just ALWAYS update your tech. Those updates enforce vital protection against hackers and viruses. I don't care whether "It takes too long, and I can't live without my computer for half an hour." Or "Oh I'll do it another time." Because it only takes on average 2 minutes to get into your PC and/or crack your passwords.
Well that's all I have to say on the matter of Virus protection on your PC's. For more information, check out this website. It will give you all the information you need on the subject.
Stay safe out there!
Thank you to ♠ Aldrin ♠ for writing this blog post and designing the banner