Personal computers are very common in this age because everyone has at least one. Computers can perform various tasks, depending on what the user requires & pc security. The tool that is the computer was originally invented in 1943 by J. Presper in 1946, following a 3-year construction.
At the time, computers weighed a lot – weighing up to 50 tons. This is a lot in comparison to the weight of the average computer that spans between 20-30 pounds for smaller sizes, and 60-80 pounds for the large computers.
42 years after the invention of the first computer, a Windows PC was released with a graphical User Interface that ran on the MS Disk Operating System. The development of this device was under the supervision of Microsoft’s Founder, Williams Gate and it has proven to be a huge success.
According to a report, there are over 1 billion Computers that actively use the Windows OS. The majority of Windows sales comes from manufacturing companies Lenovo and Hewlett Packard that sold the most units of personal computers in 2020, both of whom use Windows as their operating systems.
Windows has released several operating systems between 1985 and now, starting from Windows 1.0 to Windows 10. According to several experts, the Windows 10 is by far the best operating system the Microsoft team has released in its 30+ active years.
An independent report by Statista confirmed that Windows 10 has surpassed Windows 7 as the most popular operating system in the world, holding 39% of the market share, 3 more than Windows 7 – the second highest.
As a result of this success, there are currently no plans for the release of Windows 11 by the Microsoft team, although Windows 10 has been actively in use for the past 5 years.
Despite its popularity, Windows operating system does not make it to the list of the most secure operating systems; given the increased number of system breaches by cybercriminals in recent times.
Six Ways to Strengthen your PC Security:
Risks facing PC users
The following are potential dangers that PC users might encounter while making use of their device:
- Viruses – These are codes that when they get on a device, spread by replicating themselves on other programs, corrupting the entire device, and messing with its entire operation.
Every device is susceptible to viruses, and it can get onto the computer via transfer from a corrupted external drive or the installation of a compromised application or program.
- Phishing – Phishing attacks are very common. In fact, several thousands of phishing links go out every day.
The attack can be through mail, voice or text and is usually titled under a legit topic that the user might be interested in. Once the link is clicked, the user is exposed and his or her information can be easily stolen by the perpetrators.
- Hacking – The increase in cybercrime through hackers is alarming, leading to the need for cybersecurity awareness. Hackers can get access to a computer through public Wi-Fi, or a poorly protected personal connection.
Hacking is done for any number of reasons, sometimes to retrieve user personal and financial information, or to spy on the user through webcam and microphone.
- Malware – This is one of the more popular risks faced by PCs today. It is a short form of malicious software and its primary goal is to destroy information contained on a device. Malware is usually found attached to another application that is installed or downloaded from unverified sources.
- CyberBullying – The anonymity that the internet provides allows people to express themselves in whatever way they see fit.
Unfortunately, some take this privilege as an excuse to say hurtful and derogatory things to others, especially in disagreements. More often than not, children and teenagers are the recipients of cyberbullies.
Six Methods for PC Cybersecurity
- Activate Full-Disk Encryption
Since you understand that hackers just want your data, you need to keep it away from them. Although it’s uncommon, hackers can try to steal information from you physically. It might seem like a random mugging so you’d have no idea about their true intentions.
This is particularly why you need to use full-disk encryption on your PC. This type of encryption locks out anyone from accessing any of your files. Unless the correct passcode is fixed, all efforts to get into your device would be futile.
Operating systems like Windows and Mac allow full-disk encryption. On Windows, it is referred to as BitLocker and can be accessed in the ‘Update and Security’ sector under Settings. Mac users can activate the full-disk encryption option in ‘Security and Privacy’ under ‘System Preferences’.
- Realize the Benefits of Software Updates
Usually, when PC users talk about new updates to software, they refer to new features. However, unknown to some device owners, the key work behind software updates are the security patches. These patches which are made periodically prevent hackers from sneaking malware onto your computer.
In every program, there is a chance of exploitation through its code. If a cybercriminal discovers that susceptibility, it could be used to install malicious software on your system. If sensitive information like this lands in the hands of a hacker, your details could be used for identity theft or sold on dark webshops.
A PC user who updates software a short while after it becomes available makes the PC very secure. It is difficult for hackers to penetrate any system with high security. Software refers to program apps, games, operating systems, and program extensions.
- Download Anti-Malware Tools for your PC
Every positive thing has its negative side. Fire is essential to cook food but can also burn a person if the skin is exposed to it. In the same vein, the internet allows quick access to information. Nevertheless, the cons associated with internet connection are cyber threats.
So far you visit the internet, you’ll always be exposed to internet risks. Even firms with high cybersecurity budgets get hacked every once in a while. If you have an anti-malware program you’d be able to stop malware from infecting your system and stealing your information.
Anti-malware programs stop viruses and other forms of malware from entering your PC. In theory, it can’t stop every type of malware because there are signatures it can’t recognize. But it’ll do a good job of removing already existing malware on your device.
- Go for Strong Network Security Tools
A great example of a strong network security tool is a VPN. A VPN or Virtual Private Network drives your internet traffic through a private tunnel in another location. In the process, your internet protocol address becomes spoofed, modifying it with that of the VPN server.
In simple terms, a VPN’s encryption hides your information from a hacker, even if your router or a public Wi-Fi network gets breached. Utilizing a VPN for your Windows computer provides several benefits. For one, you get to access geo-blocked content. You also get protected from entities tracking you by online anonymity.
- Activate your Firewall
The firewall has been referred to as the security guard of the PC. The importance of a firewall cannot be overstated because of its massive security benefits starting from preventing suspicious data packets from getting into your device.
Firewalls can prevent unwanted remote access to your PC too. There are hardware firewalls and software firewalls, you can combine both to get the best level of protection.
- Avoid Clicking Unknown Links
Don’t click strange links on your PC from people you don’t know. This measure prevents you from landing on dangerous websites. Even if the link is from a friend or relative, become wary of it immediately.
These links seem harmless but might cause a lot of damage to your device. Also, stay clear of downloading random email attachments. Ransomware can be introduced to your PC this way.
Using a system comes with several benefits including getting access to entertainment and work resources. However, PC users face several risks like hackers, phishing, and cyberbullies. This is why computer security needs to be strengthened.
You can do this by getting wary of random links, using a VPN, and downloading anti-malware for your device. By encrypting your device and updating your software, you would be on your way to achieving top-notch PC cybersecurity.