A beginner’s guide to fending off hackers and scammers: Part 2 – Protecting your computer

In Information Security ByTeam Acumin / 21st December 2015

If you are worried about your online security following the recent hack of TalkTalk, which saw thousands of people’s sensitive data accessed by scammers, one of the most important things you will need to do is secure your computer.

There are a number of measures you can take to ensure that your computer is as safe from hackers and scammers as it is possible to be. Here are some of the most important ones:

Turn on your firewall

A firewall is a piece of software that helps to protect your computer from the hackers who would like to access it. Many operating systems come with their own firewall, so chances are you already have one on your computer just waiting to be activated, and we strongly suggest that you have it activated at all times if you want to be protected.

Install antivirus software

Antivirus software can prevent hackers gaining access to your computer with malicious software programs, which are often used to access your sensitive data. Quite often, viruses can infect your computer and do a scammer’s bidding without you even knowing it, but if you have antivirus software in place and up to date, it will catch a virus and block it before it can infect your equipment.

Install antispyware

Spyware can be placed onto your computer by hackers and then used to spy on your activities, such as the things you type in your browser. It is possible to find free or low-cost spyware prevention software, but there’s also some fake antispyware software out there, which will infect your computer, so be sure to download any antispyware software from a reliable source.

Download wisely

A final thing you can do to ensure your computers safety is monitor the things you download, paying particular attention to email attachments from untrusted sources, as they can often contain viruses.