Windows is the default operating system on most PCs today, and there is a high chance that’s the software you’ve got running on your home or work computer right now.
The fact is that this OS is out there a lot, making it one of the most compatible with that of others in your home or workplace. Besides that, it is also stable enough and gets the job done.
That said, you are probably like many other people who have put a lot of important files and documents on their PC. What would happen if, say, your system got attacked by some malware, or someone started monitoring your internet activity? Bad, right?
That’s why we set up this guide to make sure that doesn’t happen. Here’s how to keep your Windows laptop as safe as it can be:
1 Update your apps and software
One of the simplest yet very important things you can do for your Windows 10 security is updating not just the software, but the apps that you have installed on it.
Most times, these updates come with app improvements, smoother operations, and a faster UI. Other times, though, they are sent to address a security issue and squash some bugs that might have been found in the system.
The significance of this is that you get to plug the leak discovered by the software or app developers before it can be used against you at all. Any moment you wait before updating the said software or app increases your chances of getting hacked on such a platform.
2 Update your Windows version
Your PC could be running Windows 10 – which is the latest in the line of Windows devices – yet it wouldn’t be running on the latest version of the said Windows 10 software. This is just the same way your phone could be getting updates from manufacturers to keep it up to date without necessarily changing the Android or iOS versions
Always check your system settings to ensure you don’t have a pending update yet to be installed. The same reason as above holds, so we don’t need to reiterate how important this move is for your overall security.
3 Download verified apps only
You can get away with installing apps from third-party sources on your mobile phones (even though this is not advised either), but the risks are more serious for a PC.
By all means, stay away from apps that are not from a trusted location. The best way to ensure this is to stick to the Microsoft Store whenever you need to purchase or download any apps. All of the apps you see in the store have not only been verified by Microsoft but checked for malicious code before getting published.
4 Create Backup files
Preventive measures rarely fail when they are done right, but they sometimes falter in certain cases. If you are concerned about this, it is advised that you back up your files and store this backup in a secure location.
In fact, we recommend generating and keeping two separate backups away from one another – one online and the other offline. That way, even when malicious attacks find a way onto your system, you can simply reset it and start again from last back up.
PS This will give you more peace of mind in case you are involved in ransomware attacks, among others.
5 Install a VPN
Besides securing yourself against direct attacks (such as hacking), you also have to prevent indirect attacks on your data and privacy.
Some of the ways this happen are by browser fingerprinting. You can also be a victim of man in the middle attacks when you connect to free/ rogue Wi-Fi networks and a host of other cases.
Fortunately, you don’t need to fret. Using a credible VPN engineered for Windows will get the job done for you by obfuscating your internet data whenever you go online. Not only would that hide your data from anyone trying to record it (since your internet traffic would not be bundled over a lot of servers to keep them from being traced), but it would also be impossible to trace your data back to you.
You must have heard of this before but thought it was something limited to the big corporations and brands. Fortunately, you can get in on the firewall movement too, and you don’t have to give an arm and a leg for it.
Simply put, a firewall is a piece of code (hardware or software based) with the sole aim of blocking unauthorized entry into your computer – both online and offline. A good firewall will protect you against all of the worms, viruses, ransom ware and any other type of malware that could be thrown your way.
While you can beef up your firewall security with third-party provisions, Windows 10 comes with an in-house firewall program. Nestled inside the Windows Defender, this feature is usually on by default.
You should check to confirm that you haven’t tampered with anything in there.