Windows is one of the most popular operating systems in the world, which also makes it an attractive target to cybercriminals. While Windows 10 is the operating system’s most secure version to date, there are still plenty of vulnerable areas for cyber-attacks to take place. Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to keep your Windows PC secure in 2021.
The Most Common Risks for PC Users
Before you can take the proper precautions to ensure the safety of your PC, let’s look at the most common risks PC users face.
- Malware is short for malicious software. It’s an umbrella term that’s used to describe any computer programs that hackers use to harm or exploit a device, network, or service. This includes viruses, Trojans, and worms.
- Ransomware is a type of software that encrypts the files in the device. Victims have to pay a ransom for the decryption key that will unlock the documents.
- Phishing is another common type of cyberattack. People with ulterior motives would fool innocent people into sharing sensitive or private information. This is often done with an email that appears to be from a trusted source. However, the email will have a link or attachment that redirects you to a site that asks for personal information.
How to Keep Your Windows PC Protected
Now that you understand some of the most common risks that Windows PC users face, you can take some precautionary measures to ensure the safety and security of your device. Here are six ways you can secure your Windows PC in 2021.
Install a Trusted Antivirus
Windows Defender is the built-in security software that comes with Windows 10. While it’s a decent program, there are plenty of other antivirus products on the market that offers even better malware detection.
Regardless of which you choose to use, you should always make sure that your antivirus program is up-to-date for the best protection.
Use Device Encryption
You can protect the data in your hard drive from hackers and other malicious threats by activating device encryption or the Bitlocker system on your computer.
When enabled, all of your data will be encrypted and you’ll need to enter a password to access the data. This protects your data from unauthorized access even if your laptop is lost or stolen.
Create a Restore Point
One of the first things you should do to protect your device is to create a restore point. This stores a backup of all the computer’s data at a given point in time. If anything happens to your computer, you can simply restore the system to the way it was before it crashed or got infected.
Install a VPN
Installing a VPN on the device will ensure your privacy and security when you browse online. A VPN masks your IP address and sends all incoming and outgoing data through an encrypted tunnel, making it impossible for hackers to get hold of your information.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi
Public Wi-Fi is convenient, but when it comes to security it poses a big risk. Hackers can easily access your sensitive data on unsecured public networks through packet sniffing, man-in-the-middle attacks, etc.
You should avoid connecting to public Wi-Fi and connect to your smartphone’s hotspot instead. If you do have to connect to a public network, use a VPN to encrypt your data while you browse the web.
Set Strong Passwords
Don’t set weak or easy-to-guess passwords. Use different combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols. Keep track of your passwords by using a trusted password manager instead of writing them down or trying to commit them to memory.
By following the six tips above, you can rest assured that your Windows PC will be secure in 2021.