The world we live in today cannot survive without the internet. We have become so dependent on it to run our smart homes, study, shop and even bank online. The more we rely on the internet, the more the rate of cyber-crimes goes up. Most of us use Windows PCs, and we must know the online risks facing Windows users and how to mitigate them.
Risks Facing Windows PC users
Malware or malicious software is a term used for various programs such as worms, viruses, trojans, etc., that are used to gain access to your data or cause damage to your device.
Phishing is very common and involves malicious actors trying to get your personal details like usernames, passwords or bank details. They might use a fake email account purportedly from a trusted source like a bank, asking you to click on a link. This link leads you to a fake website that prompts you to input your details, which hackers may use to hack into your online banking accounts.
● Public WiFi
Most of us love free WiFi, and so do hackers. These WiFi networks, such as cafes or libraries, are often unsecured. Hackers prey on unsuspecting individuals on these networks and intercept their communication.
How to mitigate security risks
You can mitigate these risks by protecting your Windows PC in several ways.
1. Install security software
Installing antivirus and antimalware software protects you by blocking any malware or viruses that attempt to attack your Windows PC. Another useful tool would be VPNs. Short for Virtual Private Network, a VPN creates a safe tunnel between your PC and the internet. Secure your PC with a VPN to encrypt your communication (especially if you often use public WiFi), and make it unreadable to anyone that tries to snoop in on the network you are connected to.
2. Avoid clicking on suspicious links
Avoid clicking on email links or downloading attachments. If you need to clarify, paste the link on your browser and go directly to the website. Please hover over the link and see where it leads. If it is an HTTP:// site, delete it. A legitimate site should start with https://.
3. Update all software
Turn on all the automatic updates in the Windows Update. This keeps Windows, Microsoft Office and all other Microsoft apps updated with the latest security patches. Turn on the updates for other software such as browsers and other apps.
Cyber-criminals are becoming more cunning, and you need to stay alert. Keep your Windows PC safe by being cautious and taking any protective measures you can. Avoid clicking on links as it is one of the most common ways computers get attacked.