Protect your computer from Malware in 10 steps

Introduction:

With the release of Windows 10 in 2015, Microsoft brought the Windows operating system to a whole new level. With features such as touch optimization, brand new features like app store builtin security and faster and much more amazing new features that helps with productivity like virtual desktops and improved security.

Windows Logo

Still the underlying architecture is still based on Windows NT and the popularity of the operating system it still a big target for hackers, scammers, and criminals to get your money and your files. While Microsoft has greatly improved and automated the security of Windows 10 with automatic updates and Defender, encryption, and a firewall we still have to take some hands on action to secure our devices and activate the backup system.

Windows 10 1909 Desktop

How to protect your computer from Malware, Viruses & Ransomware and other hardware failures.

 

This following article will help you protect and repair your computer from malware viruses, and ransomware and hardware failures.

Step 1. Install and run MalwareBytes.

MalwareBytes is the best Malware scanner on the market. It’s the best cleaner on the market. MalwareBytes has won many7 awards and has been on the market for a while. It also scans for PUP(potentially unwanted programs) that slows down your computer. The Pro version is a great investment to protect your computer from Malware.

Together with ADWCleaner it gets rid of pesky toolbars and nagware.

 

Step 2. Backup, Backup, Backup.

This one should be No1!

I might sounds dramatic but all hardware will fail. It is not a matter of when , even SSD (Solid State Drive) drives fail, and no one knows for sure when. It always happens when you least expect it. Back it up to the cloud and or buy a NAS (Network Attached Storage)  storage device. Or use both for the sake of it. Once Ransomware has a hold of your computer there is no way back, the damage has already been done. The solution is to factory reset your system, wipe the hard-drive clean and start over. Hardware will fail, just like a light bulb. Keep the backup disconnected from the computer and internet at all times.

If you care about your photos, videos, documents and files, copy it to a separate device and store it offline from the internet and computer.

Windows 10 Backup

How do I backup your drive on Windows 10?

Go to Start > Settings > Update & Security > Backup > Add a drive + > choose an external drive or network location for your backups.

How do I restore my files?

  1. In the search box on the taskbar type, restore files select Restore your files with File History
  2. Look for the files you want to restore, use the arrows to see all of the versions.
  3. when you see the version you want to restore select restore to save it to the original location. to save it in a different location right-click Restore, select Restore to, and choose the location you want to restore it to.

Also checkout our 5 best free cloud services which you also can use to backup your files and use it to sync across devices.

 

Step 3. Keep your system up to date.

Windows 10 Update

Updating your Windows operating system on a regular base is extremely critical. Update all your applications with Sumo to the latest version that is available, and delete all the applications you don’t use and need. Also update your virus scanner definitions and engine and scan at least once a week for viruses.

Bugs are found and solved on a daily base and hackers/criminals can take advantage of bugs they discovered in software and drivers. Make sure you also use the latest drivers offered through Windows Update as Drivers can have security issues too.

How do I update Windows?

Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update

Step 4. Turn on the firewall or get a third party firewall

Having a firewall active on your system is critical. A firewall will protect you from scanners and sniffers that look for vulnerabilities on your computer system and software. Windows 10 has a builtin firewall which does it’s job fairly well. If you are not comfortable with the standard firewall you can try and install a third party Firewall for example ZoneAlarm or Comodo Firewall. Comodo firewall offers a sandbox feature but takes some technical skills to set it up and use it.

Windows 10 Firewall

How do I turn the Windows Defender Firewall on or off?

  1. Select Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Security > Firewall and network protection
  2. Select a network profile
  3. Under Windows defender Firewall switch the setting to On

Step 5. Use a VPN on public hot spots, e.g. library / Starbucks.

Windows 10 VPN

How to create a VPN Profile

  1. Start > Settings > Network & Internet > VPN > Add a VPN connection
  2. In Add a VPN connection do the following.
  3. For VPN provider choose Windows (built-in)
  4. In Connection name box enter the name you will recognize.
  5. In the server name or address enter the IP Address of the VPN server
  6. For VPN type, select the type of VPN connection you want to create. You will need to know which kind of VPN connection your company or VPN service is using.
  7. For Type of sign-in info, choose the type of sign-in info (or credentials) to use. This might be a user name and password, one-time password, certificate, or a smart card if you’re connecting to a VPN for work. Enter your user name and password in the respective boxes (optional).

Criminals are everywhere, and the only way to stay safe in public areas is to use a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in public areas such as Walmart, McDonalds, The public library and so on.

My personal opinion is to not use them at all period. Or just to do basic browsing in private browsing mode. Public hot spots are insecure as heck and your info is transmitted unencrypted in plain text over the network.

Step 6. Use a Linux Live USB for confidential tasks.

ubuntu logo

You still feel unsure about your system, you can use a Linux to do certain tasks, like banking, taxes, shopping. Zorin OS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint are very user friendly and secure operating systems. And you can take it with you anywhere you go and use it without worrying that someone is sniffing and stealing your information. Linux cannot be infected by windows malware.

Step 7. Use the Mozilla Firefox Web Browser

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is a secure and open source and open standard cross platform web browser used by millions and loved by millions, Firefox respects your privacy and is a fast and secure web browser with many great features to keep you safe.

Google Chrome is a good browser but we know Google isn’t very respected about the privacy, although the browser itself is great, I prefer a more open browser like Mozilla Firefox that isn’t about making as much profit as possible.

Click here for Comparing features and decide for yourself.

Step 8. Turn on Bitlocker.

What is BitLocker?

BitLocker is a builtin windows 10 easy to use encryption program that can encrypt the entire drive and protect you against certain firmware-level malware.

BitLocker is only available for Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 10 Pro/Education editions and higher.

If your operating system supports it you Should turn on BitLocker on at all times, BitLocker helps keep your hard drive encrypted and your information secure. So if your laptop gets stolen the files cannot be accessed by strangers.

How do I turn on BitLocker?

To turn on BitLocker device encryption go to

  1. Start > Update & Security > Device Encryption
  2. If Device Encryption doesn’t appear, it isn’t available.
  3. If device encryption is turned off, select Turn on.

Step 9. Install Acronis Ransomware Protection

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware

Ransomware is a piece of malware that encrypts your files in exchange for a ransom, could be money/bitcoins. 40% of the people who pay never got the key to decrypt their files. The more reason to protect yourself from Ransomware!

Install Acronis Ransomware Protection tool.

This protects your files from unauthorized altercations. If you allow the files to be altered this won’t protect you. This tool adds another protection layer to your system. If you system is infected this will only protect your files.

If you care about your computer , files, and information install Acronis Ransomware Protection. It’s free of cost!

Step 10. Never open email attachments!

Email Attachments

Unless you expect it from the person or organization you trust!

Only open/download the attachment if you really expect an attachment from a person or organization you trust, even then always scan the files before opening. Better safe then sorry!

 


Conclusion:

There are great ways to secure and protect your computer from malware, and most of them are built in Windows 10. And some we need to install for example Acronis Ransomware Protection. Also run MalwareBytes scanner and your virus-scanner once in a while. These tips should keep you safe and secure even when the problems arrive you will have your backup in the cloud or on your local drive.

 

 

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