Cybercriminals roam the Internet 24/7, looking for their next victim. In light of the rise of cybercrimes, the Parliament recently passed an act to promote cybersecurity activities in the country.
One of the common targets for cybercriminals is Windows computers, due to its popularity across the world.
But what threats do Windows users need to worry about? Let’s go over a few.
Threats Windows Users are Facing
Malware comes in many different forms, but none have gained as much infamy as ransomware, a type of malware responsible for some of the biggest cyber crimes committed in recent history. From 2017’s WannaCry to 2013’s CryptoLocker, ransomware has been behind billions of dollars in damages. And, in CryptoLocker’s case, ransomware has been known to target Windows devices.
Ransomware infects a device through a link, a website, or through a compromised network and encrypts the data found on the device. The ransomware program will then ask the victim to pay a large sum for the data back, usually through cryptocurrency. If the user doesn’t pay, they lose their data. Most users lose their data, even if they pay.
Hackers lie in wait on every corner of the Internet. Mainstream websites that happen to have a forum, video game platforms like Steam, websites that host torrents, and file-sharing services: hackers spend their days prowling these places to find their next victim. And no one is invincible.
Hackers vary by approach. Some hackers prefer causing corporation-wide data breaches. Some target individuals who may remain unaware that they’re being hacked. Others work in tandem with malware to infect multiple devices. All hackers, however, should be treated as threats.
How to Protect Your Windows PC
1. Encrypt Your Data
The first step to securing your data is encrypting all of it. When hackers target you, they’re targeting your data. Unencrypted, your data can be used for anything and seen by anyone. If you encrypt your data, however, it becomes unreadable to everyone besides you.
There are multiple ways to encrypt your data, and all are recommended. First, you can encrypt the data you send on a network by downloading a VPN. Secondly, you can encrypt your entire storage drive(s) using a full-disk encryption solution (such as Windows Bitdefender). Lastly, you can encrypt individual files and folders using certain file encryption programs.
2. Backup Your Data
One cyberattack could result in all of your data being lost and stolen. Losing all of your data could mean losing months of work, projects, and assignments and could hurt your standing with your employer if you work from home.
After you encrypt your data, you’ll want to create backups of your data separate from your main device. This will ensure that you don't lose your data to a poorly-timed cyberattack.
When you backup your data, be sure to store multiple backups. Keep a local backup stored on an external drive. Use a secure cloud storage service to backup important files. Redundancy goes a long way to keeping your data safe.
3. Stay Vigilant of Scams and Threats
After backing up your data and encrypting it all, start teaching yourself how to identify common scams and threats. See, backups and encryption software can only go so far; if you willingly give out your personal information through a phishing scam or knowingly download a sketchy program to your device, there’s little security software can do for you.
Learning how to identify these threats will ensure that you stay out of the way of these threats.
You can never be too careful, especially when it comes to securing your Windows PC. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to having a secure, safe browsing experience.