Every day as we use our mobile devices, browse the Internet, and open emails, we are also exposing our devices to potential attacks from malicious software, known as malware. Malware is any software that is designed to gain unauthorized access to devices or networks and can cause real damage.
Here are five tips to avoid becoming a victim of malware to help as you go about your connected life:
- Update your devices and software. Vendors routinely release updates in order to fix security issues. Many types of malware can be foiled by keeping your software up to date, which can be done simply by accepting the updates when you get a notice about them.
- Never click suspicious or untrusted links. Even if the URL comes from a company or person you know, it is always safest to manually type in their URL. At the very least, hover over the link to discover where it’s really sending you, as some malicious actors send emails that look convincing. This advice is also true for links in emails, documents, and on social media platforms, as malicious links are commonly posted to such sites.
- Only download from trusted sources. When looking to download an app or software, only do so from a trusted vendor or source. On mobile devices, ensure that you only download apps from the Google Play store and Apple App Store, which are the trusted sources for Android and iOS devices.
- Use antivirus and other protective software on your device. If your computer or router has built in protection, like antivirus or a firewall, ensure you have those enabled. Otherwise, consider purchasing and downloading an antivirus product from a trusted vendor. This is important for both your computers and your smartphones.
- Configure your devices with security in mind. By setting up your devices with some basic security settings enabled, you will not only protect against many types of malware, but also against other forms of malicious activity and access.
With a little extra vigilance and by following these best practices, you can greatly reduce the risk of having a device infected with malware.