Spring is in full swing and with a new season comes new viruses, new malware, and new ways for criminals to attempt to steal your data.
Thus, it’s not only the flu virus that we need to worry about at this time of year: as more of our lives become digital, it’s more important than ever to protect our computers from malicious software.
Here are our top tips for protection against this so-called “malware”.
This is probably the most important practice to maintain. Malware (malicious software) very often takes advantage of vulnerabilities that software vendors have already patched. If you keep your computer updated, you’re automatically protected against this.
Be careful with downloads
Only download files from trusted sites. Know your sources and only download files from well-established and trusted companies. If you’re unsure, rather don’t download the file or download it onto a disk that’s separate from your hard disk, e.g. a USB drive (or another computer entirely), and then scan the files with a virus scanner.
If you don’t have one, free virus scanners are available online that can help.
It’s important to note that no one product is the answer to protection against viruses and malware. There are many factors involved in staying digitally protected, and you can help by combining good tech solutions with sticking to some smart practices.
Use good software
Mimecast Email Security Gateway, for example, protects an organisation by using sophisticated, multi-layered detection engines and intelligence to protect email data and employees from malware, spam, phishing and targeted attacks 100% from the cloud. It allows spear-phishing attempts to be contained by reviewing every URL for threats and making sure that spam and malware don’t reach your email system.
Be suspicious of unexpected attachments or hyperlinks in email
We are not yet past the days of viruses and spyware being sent via email. In fact, Mimecast says that email remains an incredibly popular attack vector, and that most global businesses still aren’t ready for it.
Email attacks often appear to come from a trusted sender, so if you receive an attachment you weren’t expecting or the sender doesn’t sound quite the same as they usually do, don’t click on any links or attachments. When in doubt, don’t click.
Maintain good backups
If a virus erases or corrupts files on your hard disk, a recent backup may be the only way to recover your data, so back up your entire system regularly. For ultimate security, store those backups somewhere off-site, preferably some place not connected to your core network.
Talk to IT
Lastly, if you ever come across something suspicious on your computer, let your IT people know. When in doubt, don’t click, and do ask.