This post is only intended for the general home user, not meant for those managing servers or protecting a ton of private information that would be much more open to attack. The general computer user does not need to purchase or use any additional anti-virus or malware protection software. The built-in software that Windows and Mac’s use is more than sufficient for the everyday user.
That statement will go against what many have been told over and over for years. It has been drilled into us that we have to use protection on our computers. However, do a quick Google search and you will see how often computers have become infected due to flaws in the actual security software.
There is one rule you need to live by when using you a Mac or Windows computer in regards to keeping your system safe and that is to be skeptical. Do not open unknown attachments in your email and even be careful about opening attachments from trusted contacts as those can even be spoofed. Do not click links in emails, rather than click the link go directly to the website in your browser. Do not install software from unknown and untrusted websites and only install software that you need. When you receive one of those Flash popups letting you know that your Flash is out of date, close the popup or quit out of your browser and get back in, it is malware. If you receive a phone call letting you know that your Windows computer is infected and they can help you get it cleaned up, hang up, all of those calls are scams and they will either lock your computer and demand money or they will install software that will monitor your usage on the computer so they can get your information.
This all comes back to the one rule I mentioned, be skeptical. If you avoid doing the things I listed above your computer will stay clean. The other part that is extremely important is to keep multiple backups. Purchase an external hard drive or a USB stick and make sure you keep your data backed up every couple of weeks to it, even better have two or three external devices and keep one off-site. In addition to the external storage use cloud storage like Google Drive, Dropbox, iCloud Storage, or OneDrive. This will give you multiple avenues for recovery in case your system does become compromised.
If you stick by these few simple rules your computer experience will be much more enjoyable to trouble-free! Here are the rules again, if you have any others that you have found leave them in the comments below!
Rules of the Computer