Windows is known to be susceptible to viruses, but Mac has so far been presumed to be immune to viruses. Yet, some measures are necessary for preventing viruses, spyware, and malware from reaching and residing in the computers that are based on either Windows or OS X operating systems.
Here is a list of top measures that Windows based system requires for protection from virus threats:
- Install some antivirus software programs
Some like Avira and Bitdefender have free versions. A free antivirus, however, is sufficient for protecting the computer of most average users. In addition to antivirus software programs, anti-malware programs such as Malware Bytes are also available in the market. It is not merely enough to install the best antivirus programs, it is also necessary to periodically run these scanning programs.
- Use updated versions of software
Every updated version of software programs includes additional security features that prevent some of the viruses from entering your system. Therefore, using updated versions is better than using old versions.
- Do not use any software from unknown sources
There are many software programs which are free. These free programs often have some virus or spyware attached to them. Avoid such software programs, unless these are from a trusted source.
- Cleaning up your hard disk and getting rid of infected programs
Spend some time clearing old files on the hard disk as these are not created with new security features, and therefore, are susceptible to infections.
- P2P sharing is dangerous
In P2P torrents, it is never certain whose system is infected and who has used or downloaded any software or other files that are infected. Viruses, spyware, and malware travel quickly in such an environment.
- Avoid e-mails that you receive from unknown senders
Learn the tricks of identifying which is a genuine email from somebody you know. Know that someone you know might well talk to you and tell you what they want. Or you could call them and find out if they have asked for any information or sent some mail to you. Do not believe any of the popups offering you prizes or e-mails offering you a fortune. Even e-mails for jobs you did not apply are a strict no. Opening any attachments in such mail is the worst thing you could do, and deleting these emails on sight is the best thing to do. Even advertisements that land in your inbox or on the screen are often infected and, therefore, they should not be clicked. Similarly, websites such as those with adult content are likely to be affected by spyware.
- Be careful with the hardware you use
USB flash sticks are easy to carry and easy to move data around. Viruses find them convenient as well.
- Watch what is installed
Many software programs come with virus appendages. Install only what you intend to use and not everything you come across.
- Use FileVault feature
File Vault makes it difficult for an intruder to access your files. OS X has this feature.
- The Gatekeeper is there for a reason
This feature confirms from the user whether a file or program should be downloaded. That in itself should serve as a warning, and force Mac users to be attentive to the option they select.
Both Windows and Mac OS X have firewalls built in, but hackers find ways around them. This is the reason periodic updates are necessary. Flashback Malware found on Mac dispelled the illusion that Mac is safe forever. Therefore, both Windows and OS X fans have to use methods to prevent viruses from traveling easily across the net and stealing crucial information.