The minute you sign onto the web, your PC begins its round of Russian Roulette. I realize that sounds depressing and startling, yet it’s valid. Your own information put away on the hard drive is a magnet for programmers and cybercriminals, and they will remain absolutely determined to break into your framework.
These assaults are regularly obvious and unnerving. Virtual crooks have carried out wave after flood of computerized violations. They have coerced untold Bitcoin dollars from general clients urgent to unscramble their records.
Tip in a Tip: Just half a month prior, wannacry ransomware influenced around 200,000 Windows PCs everywhere throughout the world. Click here to figure out how to shield yourself from ransomware assaults.
So how would you know whether the security you set up on your PC truly works?
Programmers utilize various techniques to attack your PC, so you’ll need to approach the issue from a few points. Consider it like a farmer inclining toward the fence to ensure it’s as yet solid. Here are some approaches to shield that fence from falling over.
1. Test your settings
The first tool in your arsenal is Microsoft Baseline Security Analyzer. This free tool examines your Windows and Office settings for any potential problems, especially contamination.
First, MBSA will test your user account passwords and let you know if any account has a weak or disabled password, which is easy prey for hackers.
MBSA will also check many of your account settings. Is your computer set up to get automatic updates? Do you have more than one administrator account on the computer? This software will check all of that information for you.
MBSA also has guides to what settings are preferred and why. Just click the “What was scanned” or “Result details” links to read them.
Also, pay attention to your shared folders. MBSA will show you folders set up for sharing. You may have opened up some private folders in the past, so anyone on your network can access files in these folders. Make sure you’re only sharing what you meant to share, and with whom. Click here to learn more about MBSA and download this free tool.
2. Update your browser plugins
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Keep your browser updated. Only the latest, safest version will help protect you from infections and attacks.
But an up-to-date browser is just the beginning. You need to make sure your browser plug-ins are up to date as well. Just like an old browser, an outdated plug-in leaves your browser and your computer vulnerable.
Open up the browsers on your computer, even the ones that you don’t use, and go to Mozilla’s Plugin checker. It will show you every plug-in installed on the browser and whether it’s up to date. Even though it’s the same company that makes Firefox, the Plugin checker works for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and other browsers.
If you want to remove any plug-ins or toolbars you find, follow the instructions I provide here.
3. Test your firewall
One of the most fundamental security setups is a firewall. Windows and Mac have decent firewalls built in, and many third-party security programs include them.
A firewall keeps hackers from seeing your computer online when they’re searching for victims. Even if they know where your computer is, the firewall keeps them out.
But they’re not perfect. A wrong port setting can send up a flare, revealing your computer or giving hackers an opportunity to slip past. If you have a virus, it might have changed your settings without you even knowing.
A port test service like PortTest scans your firewall to make sure your computer is invisible. If it can see you, so can the hackers. Click here to test your computer’s firewall.
4. Permanently delete files
Newsflash: Deleting your files doesn’t actually remove them. They can still hang around your hard drive for days or weeks. Anyone who knows what they’re doing can recover them.
That’s why it’s a good idea to permanently delete any sensitive files that you no longer need. Click here for step-by-step instructions.
But even then, you don’t want to just dust your hands and assume the files are gone. To confirm they’ve been deleted, fire up a file-recovery program like Recuva and see what it can even find on your system.
If it doesn’t find the files you permanently deleted, you’re in good shape.