Ransomware, Spyware, Malware, Viruses, and Worms: How to keep your devices safe

Just days ago, the cyber world was shaken to its core (albeit temporarily) when the now-famous WannaCry ransomware ravaged computers across the globe, throwing panicked users into disarray. You may even have been among the unfortunate victims. But WannaCry aside, electronic devices everywhere are always at a risk of being attacked by ransomware, malware, viruses, bugs, and worms. In this post, discover some of the things you can do to keep your devices safe.

Use an anti-virus

Make sure that you have an anti-virus on your phones, tablets, and computers. An anti-virus software is the best way to keep your electronic devices safe from such attacks. On phones and tablets, you can download an anti-virus in form of an app. On computers, you will need to install one manually as well. You can buy one online or from computer shops. In addition to having one of these softwares, update it regularly and scan your devices as often as possible.

 

Scan all the devices you connect to

When you connect your computer or handheld device to another device, the subsequent transfer of information or files can facilitate the transfer of viruses and malware as well. So to avoid this, scan all devices before connecting your computer, phones or tablets to them. This especially refers to flash disks and external storage disks which happen to be the most used. Compact discs and DVDs apply too.

 

Scan all the content that you download or receive wirelessly

Due to tech advancements, people today transfer files across devices wirelessly a lot of the time. This is done through Bluetooth, Infrared, and flash share technologies. Before sending or receiving files or information across such platforms, make sure that the device you want to pair with is not infected. Have it scanned first. Even if you’re sending a file that you believe is safe, the connection alone is enough to facilitate transfer of malware.

 

Don’t download apps from untrustworthy sources

People today download apps all the time. It’s through these apps that one can play games, practice crafts, view certain websites, and so forth. And there is nothing wrong with downloading or using apps. However, only download apps from trusted sources. If using Apple devices, for example, only use the Apple Store. You can even set your app settings to prevent app downloading from other ‘untrusted sources’. There’s such a setting.

 

Don’t open attachments, files or emails from unknown sources

Apps aside, you should also never open files from unknown sources, especially online. This especially refers to email attachments. If an email is from a peculiar source or is in the spam folder, just leave it or delete it. It could be infected. Spam emails and downloaded files are one of the largest causes of virus and malware infections.

 

Don’t visit sites that don’t have trustworthy certificates

Last but not least, do not visit sites that don’t have a trustworthy certificate. A trustworthy certificate is a virtual ID that shows the legitimacy of a website. Most browser settings can be adjusted to block sites that do not have such a certificate and others will give you a warning by default whenever this happens.

 

As you can see, most of the prevention lies in not accessing files that are either unknown or that have not been scanned thoroughly using an updated antivirus.

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