Let’s not forget, “www” stands for the Word Wide Web, and just like there’s a lot of crazy stuff going on in the real world, there’s just as much crazy stuff going on the cyber world. People will try to steal your identity online, access your personal files, and there’s plenty of hackers who can take control of your computer from miles away.
It’s important to take note of sites and resources that you can trust, because any site you visit or program you download can contain malicious malware that will slow down your PC.
I remember my computer was once infected with a virus that installed a “fake” security app that let me know every 5 minutes or so that my computer was infected with a virus, and I needed to scan or install this software, which turned out to be an undercover virus itself. Who knew?
Here are some great tips to help you safely use your PC and avoid malicious internet attacks and viruses.
Only Download Software from A Trusted Resource (1)
I’m fine with with the torrent community, but, really? Can you expect an underground source of illegal, pirated content to always be 100% safe, and legit? I would hope so, but that’s just not the case. There’s always going to be that one hot head that will disguise a malicious virus as a torrent, and if you happen to download it your computers fate relies on the level of security you have protecting your computer. If you download torrents make sure you sort the downloads by “seeds” and browse through the comments for a particular torrent to get a good feel for the feedback before downloading a torrent file.
DOWNLOAD.COM is the safest resource to download programs and utilies from, and is a part of CNET, which scans each program to ensure it is 100% spyware free and is a very trusted resource for program reviews and downloads. If you need basic programs like a file converter, media player, editing software, security software, and just about anything else, Download.com is your safest resource and is all I use for my basic software needs. To be safe, before you download a program from an another source, I strongly recommend first searching on Download.com for your program to see if its available.
Use Google Page Rank to Check Authority (2)
A great way to measure the authority of a certain website or blog is to identify its Google page rank. This is a scale from 1-10 that Google uses to measure the authority of a website or blog, and lets you know how well you can trust its content.
This is not to say that a site or blog with a low page rank or page rank of zero should not be trusted or avoided, but simply the higher the page rank the more likely you can rely upon and trust the site or blog. For example, the New York Times has a page rank of 9 and DOWNLOAD.COM has a page rank of 8.
Note: Keep in mind that the page rank for a certain page on a blog or site, may rank lower than the page rank of the homepage. Always check the home page page rank first to identify the page rank for the resource.
The easiest way to see the page rank of any site as you as you visit it is to download a Google Page Rank extension for your web browser, or use the Google toolbar on IE, Firefox, and other browsers (will not work with Chrome). This will display the page rank of the web page you are on at the time in the toolbar at the top.
Here are links where to download a Google page rank extension or Google toolbar for your browser:
- Download the Google Toolbar. To add the page rank button to the toolbar, right-click on the toolbar, click on “Enable more buttons” and select “PageRank” in the list.
- Download PageRank Google Chrome Extension.
- Download PageRank Firefox Extension.
Never Open Email Attachments from Unknown Senders (3)
Opening an email attachment from somebody you don’t know is essentially a death wish for your computer. Never, ever, even think about opening an email attachment from an unknown sender, no matter what the email says. This is a common way for hackers and identity thefts to reach vulnerable computers and people. Don’t be one of them.
Download A Security Program (4)
I’ve found over the years that if you use your computer frequently, a security program is absolutely essential. Even if you’re only a causal user, I still think its necessary. Just imagine this for a second. Someone manages to install a keylogger on your computer without you knowing, and now has access to every single password you type with your keyboard. Your email, social networks and bank accounts are now at the hands of a complete stranger without your knowledge.
I have always used Norton products, which I think is the most reliable computer security company there is. They strive for a simple interface and as much of a “hands-off” experience as possible, which appeals to me. Norton 360 is a complete computer security app that can even automate running system tasks to speed up your PC and optimize system performance. Among other Nortonsecurity products are Norton Anti-Virus and Norton Internet Security.
If you’d rather not spend any money, Microsoft offers a suitable security solution, Microsoft Security Essentials, which can help to guard your PC from malware and internet threats. You can also search Download.com for a popular free anti-virus software such as ”
Update your browser (5)
Do yourself a favor and make sure you’re using the latest and greatest version of your web browser. For the best security and performance, its best to update your browser whenever a message pops up. Here’s a great site, UpdateBrowser.net, which will direct you to the official download page for the latest versions of all the top browsers.