How to protect your PC from malware and viruses on the internet

As disease viruses are always ready to strike in unhealthy environments if you are not adequately protected, computer viruses also get caught on your computer when you surf the internet on particularly risky sites, if there are no adequate defenses.
To avoid catching malware and viruses on the internet, it is very important to open websites with due attention, immediately recognizing, by eye, where the threat can hide.
We often talk about sites full of viruses when looking for illegal downloads or streaming videos, but even in normal sites like Facebook or Google, malicious links may be hidden on which a click is enough to be hit.
In this article we see how to protect your PC from viruses on the internet, examining all the cases in which a wrong click is enough to find yourself with the infected computer and trying to understand how to defend yourself from any computer threat.
1) Sites with deceptive and dangerous banners
In most cases, websites hide viruses in banner ads that camouflage themselves and appear to be part of the site itself.
This is the case of program download and streaming video sites, where the real button to download the file or watch the video is small and on the sidelines with a much larger banner that says Download or Play which is natural click.
Furthermore, in these sites with mostly illegal or copyright-free content, just click anywhere to open an advertising web page in the background, which sometimes opens banners of false danger warnings or which seem to oblige us to download malicious software.
In the end the general rule is that, when looking for sites with "free", non-legal or adult content, you must always close each tab that opens after a click.
It is also important to see, before clicking a link, where it refers.
To do this, just put the mouse cursor on the link you want to open and look down where it sends.
If the one below is a link from the same site where you are, then it's fine, otherwise it could be a link to be studied.
Dangerous links and those that open banners usually have long, confusing addresses full of symbols.
In this case, then, it is best to avoid.
In this regard, in another article, we saw that you should never download software, codecs, updates from streaming video sites, which are always viruses .
2) Always ignore and close pop-ups
If when you click on a site a popup or a new tab opens that refers to a site other than the one you are visiting, close it immediately.
If closing was hindered by a message box, close the window by pressing on the X and end that tab without being too busy watching what it is.
If there is no X, press Continue and quickly close whatever has been accepted. If the X opens other windows or the advertising tab cannot be closed, immediately press the CTRL-Shift-Esc key combination to enter the task manager and in the process tab close the browser in full.
An example of a pop-up site to always close is the one that says "Congratulations, you won", which is always a scam.
3) Always scan files downloaded from the internet .
Unless it is a site that you know is reliable, for every download of files from the internet it is worth doing an online virus scan by uploading it to a site like before running it on your computer.
If there were any reports of malware in the online scan, it can also be a false positive, but, in order not to risk, it is better to run the file in a sandbox or an area isolated from the operating system.
Also read the guide to install freeware programs without sponsors and additional software that are often worse than viruses.
4) Beware of files with the .exe extension
If you are downloading a video or an image or a torrent file or other things that are not programs and you end up downloading an .exe file, never open it and remove it immediately because it is definitely a virus. Obviously if you are downloading a program to install or run, this can be an .exe file.
5) Always use an up-to-date and unwanted browser without modifications
Browsers are the programs to surf the internet so hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities to spy on how they are used by users. Browsers are continuously updated to cover any holes. The updated browser is a must to protect yourself from websites with viruses, to prevent them from hitting even without clicking anything.
Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari are definitely fine, as long as they are the latest version. The latest versions of Chrome and Firefox also integrate internal security systems that preventively block browsing on sites marked as at risk.
6) Beware of extensions on Chrome and Firefox .
To check that there are no bad extensions or plugins on Chrome, Firefox and other Windows programs, to rest assured it is better to do a scan, occasionally, with ADWCleaner.
At the same time, you must also avoid that the browser has not undergone changes from external programs.
I refer to the default search engine which must be Google, Bing, Yahoo and not others and to the initial tab which must not report different sites or brands that have nothing to do with the browser.
7) To recognize dangerous and unreliable sites in order to raise the level of attention when it happens, there are some plugins for safe browsers that report the goodness or not of a site and, if desired, automatically block the access to infected sites.
The best of these is always the recommended and light WOT which stains potentially infected links red.
Without installing anything, when in doubt, you can do a check on a site with some online services listed in the guide on how to avoid clicking on suspicious sites and dangerous links.
8) Install and always have a standalone antimalware scanner ready .
Lately, viruses are presented in the form of rogueware programs, that is, programs that seem clean but that, in reality, are terrible malware.
They can be fake antivirus or fake error correction programs that take the PC hostage making it unusable if you don't pay to buy the product by writing the credit card number that ended up in the hands of the hacker.
These viruses make any installed antivirus ineffective which then becomes powerless to counter and stop the threat.
The only salvation, in these cases, is the antimalware scan of a program that does not require installation or that manages to work without being blocked by the system.
In this regard, I recommend installing MalwareBytes, the best anti-malware in circulation and keeping at least two of the best portable emergency virus scanners ready, including the free Superantispyware and Spybot programs.
9) Do not open links or files received via email or Facebook messages if it is not clear what they are .
One of the easiest ways to spread a virus is to infect a person's email or Facebook account and use it to send messages to all his friends.
To protect yourself, if you receive a strange attachment or link, without object and without many introductions, before clicking on it ask your friend for more information because, almost certainly, it is a virus.
10) Always keep the antivirus updated
It is not important which antivirus you use, even the one integrated in Windows 10 and Windows 8 is fine (Windows Defender), the important thing is that automatic updates are active, that they are regular and almost daily.
11) Create an account on the computer without administrator rights for other family members or for general use.
Using Windows with an administrator account leaves full freedom of customization and configuration but also opens up the risk of damage. Using a computer with a limited account becomes impossible to cause permanent damage and system errors.
In another article we also saw how to prevent any malware and viruses using a protected account in Windows, a very ingenious trick, easy to configure, without contraindications.
A virus can therefore always strike in unexpected and clever ways that you cannot even imagine, but with these precautions, you can deal with any emergency and the damage that a malware can do remains limited and always remediable.
For those who want to understand something more, I recommend reading the posts on internet security:
- How to recognize and remove all types of viruses and malware: definitive guide
- How a virus or malware enters your computer and how it infects your pc.
- What to do when you discover a virus on your computer in 10 steps

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