An Easy Guide to Online Protection

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Despite human civilization now finding its feet firmly planted in the digital age, many among us are woefully under informed about computer tech’s finer points. Whether through deliberate avoidance or any other reason, the results are the same, many of the more technologically inclined among us get roped into the position of ongoing defacto tech-support.

Having walked this tightrope dozens of times, we thought it could help to create a dedicated guide for the less tech-involved among us. Whether directly linking this article to those who need it, or adapting it to your own set of repeated challenges, the three simple ideas below should smooth out the process of computer security.

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Watch What you Install

When you need a specific task accomplished by a program, it can be tempting to download the first possible piece of relevant software and jump in. Firstly, be sure to check reviews of software before you even think about downloading it and, even then, only download it from the official website.

Secondly, and the part which we’ve seen people constantly miss, is that you need to keep in mind that installers need to be approached carefully. To support some software, developers can effectively rent out their installers to outsiders. To address this issue, always click into a custom install option if available, and never add components you weren’t searching for, such as extraneous toolbars or system tools.

Ongoing Protection

Without consistent ongoing protection, not even the safest system will always remain completely secure. If you don’t keep this in mind, you could experience not just security issues, but also a wide range of problems regarding performance and convenience.

For example, we could look at casino online games as a base. The established among these have almost impenetrable levels of security to outside influence. Like any other online service, however, the offered experience can be harmed if users don’t commit to basic safety standards. Playing games like Starburst and Gonzo’s Quest is no problem for most users, but those who accidentally let outside malware like bitcoin miners on their machines, might experience something like extremely long loading times or choppy gameplay.

Luckily, most of these issues can be addressed through the application of the right programs and regular scans. On this front, we would recommend free systems like Malwarebytes or Avast to fight back against the often invisible threat. Note that while major operating systems do include their own basic safety features, these features cannot measure up to outside dedicated programs.

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Know your File Extensions

The final of the big three problems we’ve experienced with home security comes from unfamiliarity with file types. This is especially a problem with email scams, which commonly hide programs masquerading as text, video, or audio files. In basic terms, you’ll just need to keep in mind that .exe and .bat files are only used for installing and launching programs. Other files like text, video, or audio, will have their own set of extensions such as .docx, .mp4, or .mp3.

The above steps might seem overwhelming at first, but rest assured that with just minor practice they will become second nature. While digital devices and security can be incredibly complex, the majority of problems that at-home users will ever experience come from these three avenues. More advanced unexpected issues might require professional help, but for home use, this should mostly keep you covered.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.