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Protect Your Computer | How to Prevent a Computer Virus

In today’s digital age, knowing how to prevent a computer virus is a key skill set to learn. Even if you’re not a computer person and don’t want to do this stuff yourself, just being aware will at least put you ahead of the game and be a proactive user.

As technology continues to advance at a rapid pace, so too do the methods used by cybercriminals to infiltrate our devices. That’s a reality we’re faced with, whether we like it or not.

From sneaky phishing emails to deceptive pop-up ads, the avenues through which computer viruses can infect our systems are numerous and constantly evolving. By arming yourself with knowledge about the inner workings of these digital pests and implementing effective preventative measures, you can navigate the online world with confidence and peace of mind.

Armed with information about anti-virus and how to prevent them from infecting your system, you’ll be well-equipped to safeguard your digital domain against malicious intruders.

So in this article, we’ll provide you with some tips on how to prevent computer viruses from infecting your computer.

Install a Reputable Antivirus Software

Antivirus - how to prevent a computer virus

Installing reputable antivirus software is essential in safeguarding your system against cyber threats. When it comes to security and keeping your computer safe from potential viruses, this is where I always start, antivirus software.

It’s so important to install antivirus software BEFORE going on the internet that I believe it should be a prerequisite. Your computer should give an error message if it detects that there is no security software installed on your computer and you’re attempting to get on the internet. It should deny you internet access if there’s no security software on your computer. This doesn’t happen of course, but it should. 

Microsoft Windows does a pretty decent job by having a native security feature as part of the OS. Microsoft knows how important it is to have an antivirus of some kind installed on computers, so they started making it a part of their OS.

The reality is that if you don’t have any antivirus software installed on your computer, your computer will be infected with a virus or malware of some kind in a matter of days.

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to computer viruses. By choosing reliable antivirus software and keeping it updated regularly, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to an online attack. Cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and are working tirelessly on how they can find new ways to hack into your computer and steal your information. So prioritizing installing a trusted antivirus program is crucial for maintaining a secure computing environment.

As soon as you get a new computer, you ought to purchase antivirus software with it, that same day. There are several you can get online, and in some cases, computers come with trial versions of antivirus software. Which one to choose is not nearly as important as getting one installed.

Don’t wait until it’s too late—take proactive steps to protect your system with antivirus software.

Keep Your Operating System Updated

Keeping your operating system updated is crucial in preventing computer viruses and ensuring the security of your device. This is another proactive approach to keeping your computer secure. Keeping the same theme of prevention is better than cure, it’s always a good idea to keep your operating system updated. I know they can sometimes be a pain to install, as they have a tendency to alter some features of Windows after the updates take place. But the benefit of getting new updates installed on your computer regularly far outweighs the potential drawbacks, which happen more seldom than we would think.

If an update has changed things too much for your liking, you can always roll back the update to a prior time before the update was installed, using the System Restore feature. Windows automatically (or at least it should) creates restore points for purposes like this where an update or some changes were made to the OS that you would like to undo those changes. System restore is your undo button in Windows.

If the restore points aren’t created by Windows automatically, you can manually create them. This is how you manually create a restore point in Windows 10:

  1. In the search bar next to the Start button, type Create a Restore Point.
  2. Click on it, when it shows up in the search results.
  3. The System Property window will open, with the System Protection tab selected.
    System Properties - how to prevent a computer virus
  4. At the bottom of this window, click on the “Create” button to start the process of creating a restore point. You will be brought to the following window.
    Create a Restore Point - how to prevent a computer virus
  5. Give the restore point a name that’s descriptive for you and click Create, and the process will begin by itself.
  6. You will be given a message at the end stating that the restore point was created successfully.

If you’re of a visual person, here’s a video to demonstrate how to create a restore point in Windows 10.

 
The process is very similar in Windows 11, with a few minor changes. But you should be able to get to it, using the instructions I’ve provided here.

Now that you have a restore point created, in the event you ever need to revert to that time after an update was installed that you didn’t like, you can always choose that restore point. You would get to it the same way as you did when you created the restore point. Just click System Restore in the System Properties window instead of the Create button. Follow the instructions on how to restore your computer and go from there.

When you neglect to update your OS, you leave yourself vulnerable to malware and cyberattacks that can compromise your sensitive information. By regularly installing updates, you can patch vulnerabilities and stay one step ahead of potential threats.

Moreover, staying current with software updates also enhances the performance and functionality of your computer. It’s important to set up automatic updates so that you don’t overlook them amid a busy schedule.

Be Cautious with Email Attachments

This is one of the easiest ways that users become victims of viruses and cyber-attacks. Cybercriminals use what is called phishing to get information out of victims, posing to be someone else they’re not.

That’s spam in a nutshell and most email applications are good at filtering out that stuff and sending it to the spam or junk folder. But there are a few that slip through the filtering cracks that you need to be careful with.

The reality is that we get junk mail every day from people trying to sell us stuff, most of which is stuff we’re not interested in. Phishing emails are similar to that of junk mail except that they have ulterior motives, and that’s to get information.

What I always tell people is to resist the temptation to click on or open any emails they’re not familiar with. If you don’t recognize the sender, then delete the email.

With the increasing prevalence of cyber threats and phishing scams, being vigilant about email attachments is essential to prevent a potential computer virus or malware infection.

Having an anti-virus software installed can help here as well.

Antivirus software can scan attachments for any potential threats before you open them, providing an extra layer of security. Which is what you want as it relates to phishing. Additionally, never hesitate to verify the legitimacy of an attachment by reaching out directly to the sender for confirmation. Taking a few extra moments to double-check can save you from falling victim to harmful cyber attacks.

By adopting these simple yet effective measures, you can greatly minimize the risk of falling prey to computer viruses and protect both yourself and your devices from harm. Stay mindful and stay safe!


Tags

Advanced-PCs, antivirus, computer, Computer Solutions, computer virus, Microsoft Windows, Norton


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