If the local news channel gave a report that crime is an issue in a specific city, it could mean many different things to different individuals. Is it vandalism? Are robberies the issue? What about white-collar offense? Or could it be violent crimes?

Just as there are lots of unique ways that real-world offenders can commit crimes, there’s a huge array of cybercrimes that may be committed against a computer. As a result of this, there’s absolutely no singular way a computer could be protected. It needs to be a blend of several different preventative steps so as to maintain a computer — and all its users — protected from cybercriminals.

computer-security

Here are some computer security tips to help maintain cybercriminals at bay:

Software Updates

The first place any computer user needs to begin when thinking about computer security is ensuring all applications on a computer is current, whether it’s the operating system applications or another application. Cybercriminals using intrusive attacks to be able to put malware or steal information usage imperfections in applications (called vulnerabilities) to get into a target computer. Software manufacturers understand this, and once these vulnerabilities are found, they work to fix the issue and make a fix. These patches and upgrades can keep a computer protected against these kinds of attacks.

Antivirus Protection

Having reputable antivirus security applications also needs to be a high priority when considering computer security. The best choice is using a well-rounded program that provides a vast selection of protections.

“Antivirus protection” is a bit of a misnomer. A computer virus is a very specific kind of malware that looks to self-replicate and has to be implemented in order to get the job done. There’s an entire slough of different ways to attack a computer, from Trojan horses, to spam e-mails, to rootkits, to phishing. All these attacks have different procedures of delivery in addition to different methods of causing damage.

Some antivirus programs will only protect against certain kinds of malware, or will not protect against attacks from Internet browsers or via e-mail.

Ignore Hoaxes and Scams

The old expression, “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,” is as important to keep in mind in the cyber world as it is in the actual world. Most cybercriminals depend on hoaxes and scams to steal information or spread their malware. This may be accomplished through false e-mails that may request a little bit of money in exchange for wealth later on, or it may be an advertisement for a medication that costs 80 percent less than it does in the pharmacy. If an email assures something for nothing or asks for any personal information, it is best to simply delete this email and forget about it.

E-mail Safety

Although they might appear harmless, chain e-mails may be among the worst culprits of spreading viruses and other malware. Never open an attachment from an email that comes from an unknown source or from one that’s been forwarded many times. Additionally, never click on links in e-mails from unidentified sources or if the email from a friend looks oddly formal or from character.

Strong Passwords

One way cybercriminals look to break into computers or steal information is via stealing passwords. This can be achieved by either making educated guesses at somebody’s password (using the exact same word as the login, a street address, a child’s name, a pet’s name, etc.) or with a program to run through all of the permutations till it finds the ideal combination.

Creating strong passwords can help keep a computer secure. By not utilizing obvious words (such as “password” or “myname”), it can make a major difference. Using arbitrary combinations of letters (upper and lower case), numerals, and punctuation marks would be the best path to take.

Keep Personal Information Private

Some cybercriminals try to steal information from just plain asking for it. Any respectable organization won’t ever request login and password information, Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, or any other kind of personal information. Additionally, social networking sites and instant messaging programs might be personal, but it doesn’t mean they are private. Cybercriminals understand how to get information from people which may be used against them, or how to find where they have exhibited their personal information. Never post any information you do not want strangers to know about. Identity theft is something everyone should get educated about nowadays.

By following this advice, a computer and information that you administer will be more secure and a not as positive target for cybercriminals.