Every time you turn on your PC you are opening yourself up to getting a whole bunch of nasties. These range from the annoying adware to the dreaded ransomware. Anytime you click a bad link or open a scam email you could lose all your data. Now, don’t think this is a scare tactic, it’s not like you are going to get infected every day, but all it takes is once. There are three things you can do to help fortify your defenses. Have a good adblocker, run a good anti-virus program and have a backup.
There are a lot of these out there. Dozens of programs that say they will protect you. They will but not a hundred percent of the time.
Webroot is what we use for our managed care clients. I have always like Webroot. It is pretty lightweight, catches a lot of stuff and is super easy to uninstall should something go wrong.
Avast is the anti-virus I prefer and recommend to my clients. Its one of the free AV’s that comes with a paid option should you want more bells and whistles, but the free file shield is pretty good. As a bonus, you can change the language to be pirate speak which is pretty funny.
Windows Defender is what comes bundled with Windows. In the past Windows Defender was pretty bad. Nowadays though, it has gotten a lot better. It catches a whole bunch of malware and is super lightweight. So this might be a good option if your PC does not have a lot of horsepower.
uBlock origin is my go to for an adblocker. This lightweight and open source adblocker is what I have been running for years now. With such a small memory footprint it runs fast. It is also easy to disable on sites that don’t have intrusive ads. Remember that a lot of sites can only run due to ads on their page.
Adblock Plus. This is put here since uBlock does not work on Internet Explorer or Edge. So if you use either of those browsers install this one.
Ok, so even with all those apps running you still might get hit with something. With a good backup no matter what happens you can always restore.
AOMEI Backupper is a great little program for making a system image of your computer. The free version is pretty simple to set up and run. You can schedule backups to happen whenever you want, but I highly recommend the pro version. Just make sure you have a nice big external hard drive to backup to.
In addition, to a local backup, you should also put things on the cloud. Because no matter how good of a local backup you have, if your stuff gets stolen or your house gets hits with a natural disaster your backup won’t save you. I recommend either Backblaze or Carbonite.
Will Serrahn is the lead service tech at My Computer Guy in Rockwall. You can find his blog at http://mcgtechtalk.com/