Securing a computer or network is a necessary task to keep the personal or business information it contains safe from outside attacks. To avoid these attacks, you will need to adhere to a few procedures, which should become routine as long as they are applied regularly and at short intervals of time. Securing your computer and the data it contains will be much easier if you equip yourself with the right software and protection utilities, if you update them and your system as often as possible, and if you are committed to keeping up. security practices.
Method 1 of 4: Use protection software
Step 1. Install antivirus software to protect your PC
Antivirus software is a utility designed to protect your computer against the penetration of viruses, malware, and other software threats from outside. The best performing antiviruses are commercial software that you will need to purchase in order to benefit from all of their features and be able to use them on your computer.
- The most popular antivirus software are Avast, AVG, McAfee, and Symantec.
- Set your software to regularly scan your computer for threats automatically to keep it safe from viruses and malware.
- Many of these software can also block advertisements while you are browsing the Internet and detect unwanted e-mail from websites you visit.
Step 2. Enable Windows Firewall
A firewall is a program intended to control and filter information coming from the outside world through your connection to the Internet in order to block the installation of possible malware or prevent its control from the outside.. Go to your computer's control panel and open the menu Security and system. Click on the Windows Firewall Launcher and make sure it is turned on.
- Windows Firewall performs as well as those that come with any other anti-virus software.
- Make sure you are already online when you activate your firewall so that it can also access it and update itself if necessary.
- If you can't find the firewall launcher, enter Firewall in the menu search bar Security and system.
Preferably use the firewall that is built into the functionality of your antivirus software, because it will have the advantage of being better suited.
Step 3. Clean your PC with specialized utilities
Firewalls and antiviruses are designed to prevent most threats from entering your computer, but they will not be able to eradicate all of them if your system is already infected. This is why you will need to use dedicated malware removal applications to clean up your operating system after detecting an infection or attack. Download one of these applications and periodically scan for malware.
- Spybot Search & Destroy and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware are some of the most popular malware detection and removal utilities.
- Schedule scans for viruses and other threats at regular intervals.
Method 2 of 4: Encrypt the data
Step 1. In Gmail, select Always use
You should verify that your online Gmail client is still accessing via a secure HTTPS connection. To do this, click on the cogwheel icon at the top right of the Gmail page. Scroll down to the tab titled General.
- Your Gmail page settings will be saved and you will now automatically access the email client over an HTTPS connection.
- Your Gmail account likely contains a lot of confidential information, which is why you should always verify that you are accessing it using the secure HTTPS protocol.
Step 2. Set up your Facebook account for secure access
To change your Facebook account settings, click on the down arrow icon at the top right corner of the page and select the option Account settings. In the account settings menu, click the option Security. You will see the menu regarding security, where you should look for the section titled Secure browsing. If you haven't already, check the box in front of Browse Facebook in secure mode (https) if possible.
Viruses and other threats can get installed on your computer when logging into your Facebook account
Step 3. Install the HTTPS Everywhere extension on your browser
If you use Google Chrome, Opera or Firefox, you can install an extension whose role will be to automatically request an encrypted connection to the sites you want to access. Your browser will automatically select the use of an HTTPS connection if the requested page supports this security mode. You can download the HTTPS Everywhere extension to install it on your browser.
Visit https://www.eff.org/https-everywhere to download this extension
after installing this extension, verify that it is activated by clicking on the icon in the corner of your browser window.
Step 4. Protect your Wi-Fi connection with a VPN service
If you access the Internet through a Wi-Fi connection or router that does not belong to you, your computer will be vulnerable and will therefore become accessible to hackers. To remedy this, you can use a VPN or Virtual Private Network which will encrypt the information transmitted and thus maintain an acceptable level of security for your computer, so that you can browse the Internet safely.
- You can subscribe to a VPN service provider like Tunnel Bear, Cyber Ghost, or ProtonVPN.
- You will generally have to pay for your subscription monthly to continue to benefit from the encryption services of these providers.
- You also have the option to search for free VPN services.
Step 5. Connect to websites that respond to the HTTPS protocol
You will be able to recognize these sites if you see the prefix https in the URL bar of your browser. This will have the advantage of securing the connections used by your browser when you visit these sites. The HTTPS protocol, unlike its parent HTTP, consists of encryption of connections to websites.
Currently, most respectable websites use the HTTPS protocol in order to maintain proper security of their connections, thus preventing their visitors' computers from suffering from virus attacks and other types of nuisance
Method 3 of 4: Set up password protection
Step 1. Enable two-level verification on your Windows accounts
Open your browser and sign in to your account on the Microsoft website. Click the security options menu at the top of the page to expand the content. When you see it appear, look for the option Two-level verification and click on it to activate.
- The web address where you can sign in to your Microsoft account is
- Two-level verification involves adding a second authentication step to confirm that you are the person authorized to log into your account. This results in increased security of your system by having to meet the two stages of identity verification.
- You do not have to use Outlook or another Windows application to enable 2-level verification.
To enable two-level verification, you will need to have a device that allows you to sign into an email account where Microsoft will send you a code that will confirm your identity. You can also give a phone number if you want to receive this code by text message or enter your email address if you prefer Microsoft to send it to you by email.
Step 2. Download an authenticator app
This will allow you to secure the programs you want to use. This authentication program is intended to be installed on a tablet or smartphone and will allow you to no longer be dependent on receiving a text message or an email giving you your identification code when you want to confirm your identity. to sign in to an account or application. You will need to add to the database of this program all the applications that must be used by authenticating your identity.
- The most popular authentication software are Google Authenticator, Authy, and LastPass.
- Add your social media accounts to your authentication software's database to give them an increased level of login security.
Step 3. Use a password manager
Password managers don't just store your access keys in a database, they also allow you to generate some that are both exclusive and very robust for logging into applications or sites. web individuals. When you log into these sites, all you need to do is run your generator to create a password, copy it and then paste it into the text field on the login page.
- Some password managers come with browser extension plugins that have the role of automatically filling in the identification fields of websites.
- The most well-known password managers are LastPass, 1Password, and Dashlane.
- You will need to make a monthly or annual payment to download and use some password managers.
Step 4. Enable two-level verification on your Gmail account
Google uses a two-step identification system to increase the security of its users' accounts. Go to your account's privacy settings page with your browser and activate two-step security by entering your phone number in the field provided. You will receive a text message or a call in which you will be given the passcode to access your account. You can also use an authenticator app to identify yourself on the Google site.
When you've enabled two-step verification on your Google Account, download their authenticator app from the app repository. This will allow you to generate an authentication code if you do not have Internet access
Step 5. Change the security settings of your Facebook account
To increase the security of your Facebook account by double-level authentication, log in and open the menu titled Connection and security which can be found in the settings section of your account. Click the option Edit, on the right of Two-level authentication and choose how you want to receive your second ID code. You can receive it as a text message or through an authenticator app.
A Facebook account contains a lot of personal data about you and you absolutely need to protect it from potential attacks by hackers and malware of all kinds that could gain access to your computer's content
Method 4 of 4: Implement safe practices
Step 1. Keep your operating system up to date
It is very important that you keep the system software and utilities up to date to maintain a high level of security. Open the Windows Updates application and click Check for updates. Then choose to install all the updates available for your system.
- Some updates can take a long time, especially if you've waited a long time to update your system. A good rule of thumb is to do this every week.
- Always restart your computer after its updates so that they take effect immediately.
Step 2. Scan the documents attached to your emails before opening them
This should be done consistently, even if you know the sender of the email. It could be a tactic called Spear Fishing. The person sending you the message may have usurped the identity of one of your usual correspondents in order to get you to send him confidential information or to disguise malware in an attached document to break access to your account and open the content of your computer. Right-click on any attached document and choose the option to manually scan the file for threats to make sure it is healthy.
never open a document attached to an email if you don't know the individual or company who sent it to you.
Step 3. Turn off the display of images attached to emails
It is common for images to be used as vectors for transmitting malware that can allow hackers to gain access to the content or control of your computer. To stay safe from the effects of these unwanted programs, turn off the display of images attached to emails you receive by going to your email account settings page. Find and activate the option that will force your email client to ask you what action needs to be taken before displaying images attached to messages you receive.
- If you are using Gmail, click on the settings icon in the upper right corner of the received e-mail display screen. Select the setting concerning the behavior of the messages then check the box titled Ask before viewing the external content of a message.
Step 4. Use a standard Windows account
This will help you block malware. If you did not change any settings during the installation of your computer, you may be using an administrator account without realizing it, in which case your computer will be vulnerable to all potential threats. To remedy this state of affairs, select the option Create a user account in the user management menu of your system. Create an account without forgetting to activate the option Standard user.
Using a standard account will bring a significant level of security to your system
Step 5. Delete cookies that are no longer needed for your browser
These cookies are a way for the websites you visit to acquire information about you, your habits as well as the browser and the system you are using in order to allow you to navigate more specifically on their page. They can also be a real gateway to malicious people and programs that are harmful to your system. Open your browser settings page and delete any cookies you do not need.
If you frequently visit certain websites, their cookies may help you not to re-enter your access credentials each time. It is preferable in this case that you keep them.These may be cookies allowing you to access certain administrations, your telecommuting or forums to which you have subscribed
Step 6. Avoid websites that do not respond to
If a website looks suspicious or asks you to enter information that is too personal, avoid visiting it so as not to compromise the security of your computer by making it easier for potential threats to enter. The first sign that should alarm you about the lack of secure connection to a site should be the absence of the HTTPS prefix in its address.