As long as your computer is hooked up to the internet, it is susceptible to a large number of security threats. There are several steps that you can take to secure your PC. Even if you think that there is no reason that your computer would be targeted, it is important to realize that not all hackers are after your information. Some of them simply want to use your processing capabilities and your memory space.
In addition, viruses are designed to attack every computer, regardless of what information is on it.
Set a Windows Administrator Password
Computers are susceptible when there is either no Windows password, or a weak password. Many viruses and automated programs designed by hackers are designed to search the internet for computers that have no password, and then take control of your computer. You can check to see if you set up a password by going to Start, Control Panel, Users and Passwords. Make sure the password is at least seven characters long for security reasons.
Keep an Up to Date Anti-Virus Software
It is an absolute must that you have anti-virus software installed on your computer. It should also be set up to check for updates and scan your system every day. If it is a paid program, make sure that it is renewed every time it would expire. There are free options like AVG and Avast as well. Open up the software and make sure that it is updated. If it doesn’t know about the latest viruses, it won’t be able to protect you from them.
Make Sure Windows Updates are Enabled
Windows often discovers loopholes in their operating system that hackers and viruses can take advantage of. They periodically provide security updates for this reason. Your computer should be set up to automatically download these updates. You can check to see if it is set up to guard against this problem by going to Start, Control Panel, and Automatic Updates to ensure that these security patches are routinely installed.
Install a Router
Routers protect your computer from the network. It hooks up to the internet with your IP address instead of your computer. The router acts as a filter, blocking attempts to connect to your PC that were not requested by the computer to begin with.
Install a Firewall
If you don’t have a router, and in some cases it may be useful even if you do, it is a good idea to install a firewall. A firewall only allows programs on the net to access your computer if your computer requests it. The firewall will ask you if you approve of a program to access your computer.