5. Protecting Your Devices
At work we probably have someone looking after your devices. At home – this is YOU! There are a number of things you need to think about…
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware Software
To defend against these you need two types of defence software:
It isn’t uncommon for them to be lumped in together now such that providers of this defence software claim they are the only one you need. In the work world they are often called things like ‘End Point Protection’ (which often incorporates far more features).
Generally speaking, Anti-Virus software is great at spotting things that have been seen before and recognising their digital signature. From that they respond by stopping the bad software from running, quarantining it and letting you know about it. If necessary Anti-Virus can remove it all together if you say so.
Anti-Malware software is often more about behaviour – it recognises that it doesn’t like what software is doing or trying to do on your machine and stops it, quarantines it and alerts you. Again, it can often remove it. The importance of this approach comes from the fact that the bad guys are constantly adapting and changing their malware to try and hide from Anti-Virus – as their digital signature changes every time they tweak it. It gets really fancy.
For most home users FREE really is good enough for this. Indeed, Windows Defender Antivirus on Windows 10 is a very good starting point. You do, however, need to make sure it is all switched on – use a web search for “How do I make sure Windows Defender is switched on” for guides.
You need to think about your needs and do some research around the best solution for you. A simple web search for “Best free Anti-Virus 2019” and “Best free Anti-Malware 2019” will quickly find a few credible tech journals that suggest their top picks – and will summarise the features. You may end up assessing that your family need a paid version to gain extra features.
This simple bit of FREE software will massively improve the security of your device.
Businesses of any size will generally need a paid solution for the extra functionality offered.
MAKE SURE THE SOFTWARE IS SET TO RECEIVE AUTOMATIC UPDATES
Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware solutions that don’t update quickly become ineffective.
MAKE SURE YOUR SOFTWARE IS SET TO AUTOMATICALLY SCAN ALL NEW FILES
This includes those downloaded from the internet or stored on a USB stick, external hard drive, SD card, or other type of removable media.
Do Mobiles and Tablets need this?
* I would add: Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware solutions on the genuine app stores are usually packaged as ‘security software’ and have other features that protect against being tricked into visiting phishing sites and other user-based threats. These may be worth consideration – again, do some research and make sure the provider is credible.