Windows has been the leading operating system in the digital market since the mid-1980s. While you might think that the world’s most popular operating system is totally safeguarded against cyber-attacks, quite the opposite is true. As the system in the spotlight, hackers spend lots of time figuring out ways to break into the system and attack it. There are various reasons why this happens and several ways that you can keep your Windows PC secure in 2021.
The Biggest Risks that Windows PC Users Face
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Before you implement a security strategy for your PC, it’s helpful to understand some of the most common threats that Windows PC users face in 2021. Here are the leading risks.
Malware is the short form of malicious software. Windows is known to have a vast application availability, which makes it convenient to use but also vulnerable to malware. Malware is a blanket term that’s used to describe various viruses, worms, Trojans, ransomware, and other malicious software that hackers and cyber-criminals use to infect computers and corrupt or steal data from them.
Data breaches are another significant threat that Windows PC users face. Data breaches occur when a malicious actor fools you into sharing the information they need to gain access to your computer or some secure data on it.
Phishing is another risk that’s carried out by malicious actors, specifically through emails or messages that trick the recipient into following a link where they’ll share sensitive data or unknowingly download malware onto the computer.
How to Secure and Protect Your Windows PC
Now that you understand a little bit about the most common risks that Windows PC users face, you can implement a security strategy to make your system less vulnerable to them.
Set and Manage Passwords
You should set secure passwords for logging in and wherever you store sensitive data on your computer. Passwords should never be easy to guess, which means that you may even forget them though you set them yourself. Instead of writing them down or keeping a file that contains them, use a trusted password manager to keep them secure while keeping yourself organized.
Keep Your Hard Drive Encrypted
One nice feature in Windows 10 is that it allows you to encrypt your data using Device Encryption or Bitlocker. By encrypting your hard drive, you’re ensuring that your sensitive data is safeguarded from cybercriminals or any malicious actor who tries to encrypt it themselves.
Install a VPN
The safest way to browse the internet on a Windows PC is to install a VPN. A Virtual Private Network keeps all your online activity anonymous and private. It also keeps all information sent and received encrypted and hidden from hackers, service providers, and even governments.
Avoid Public Wi-Fi Hotspots
Never connect to a public Wi-Fi hotspot if you can help it. When you connect to a public hotspot there’s no way for you to know how secure it is or how vulnerable your system is to attacks. If you do need to connect to one, always browse in private mode while using a VPN. The more secure thing to do in a situation where you need to connect to a hotspot is to use your smartphone’s personal hotspot.
Employ a Trusted Antivirus
Always enable Windows Defender or a trusted antivirus of your choice and make sure that it’s up-to-date whenever you use your computer.
Now that you understand the risks Windows PC users face and the best ways to safeguard your system against them, you can use your computer worry-free in 2021.