We use our Windows PCs every day for work and business, and we often do not think about the risks involved. Cybercrime has grown from where it was a decade ago. New risks have come up, but generally, the same risks have evolved and become more sophisticated. Some of the risks for PC users include:
Malware means malicious software that is specially designed to cause damage to servers, networks, and computers. The different variations of malware range from worms, Trojans, viruses, and others.
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Phishing is among the most common risks and is created by malicious actors who try to solicit sensitive or private information. A phishing scam may come as an email that seems to originate from a trusted source such as a friend, colleague, or bank. The email consists of an attachment or link. When you download or click on the link, you are redirected to a bogus website that prompts you to enter your details such as name, passwords, etc.
Ransomware is software that encrypts your computer or data and makes it inaccessible. The hackers demand a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.
● Man-in-the-Middle Attacks
Man-in-the-Middle attacks (MITM) attacks happen when hackers intercept two-party communication. Each person thinks they are talking to the other while, in essence, both are communicating with the hacker. This attack normally happens if your network is unsecured or has weak passwords.
How to Protect your Windows PC
You can protect your Windows PC from malicious software and hackers.
1. Enable all automatic updates
Most operating systems come with automatic updates that seal any security patches. You do not have to click any buttons or download new apps or files. The software automatically updates in the background.
2. Install a VPN
A Virtual Private Network (VPN) is an installed software that allows your PC to log safely into the internet. A PC VPN will hide your IP address, meaning no one can tell your physical location. The VPN also encrypts your data, and hackers cannot read it or intercept it in transit. Most VPNs use the 256-bit encryption standard that is impossible to crack and protects your PC from Man-in-the-Middle attacks.
3. Activate firewalls and install antivirus software
Windows PCs come with inbuilt firewalls. Activate them to keep malware at bay. Install antivirus software to keep viruses from attacking your PC.
4. Avoid Links and Downloads
Avoid downloading any attachments or clicking on links. If you are in doubt, hover on the link. If it is an HTTP and not an HTTPS, delete the email, that is a scam. If you think it could be legit such as an email from a bank, go to your browser and visit the bank website directly.
5. Use Strong Passwords
Most people use weak and obvious passwords that hackers can easily crack. Do not use passwords like birthdays, pets, or children’s names. Use alphanumeric passwords combined with special symbols to make it harder for anyone to guess.
Windows PCs are at risk of hacking and other forms of cyber threats. Keeping your PC safe will protect your data from theft and encryption by hackers. Being careful about links and downloads helps a great deal in securing your Windows PC.
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