Windows Virus and Malware

It is essential to keep your refurbished computer safe against viruses, malware and any other threats that may be found online. Your personal information, including finances, home address and identification details may be vulnerable if you don't safeguard your device. To keep your refurbished computer safe and secure, we recommend that you consider the steps listed in our guide below. 

1. Install an Antivirus or Anti-Malware Application

Consider installing a reputable antivirus suite on your computer. Windows comes with Microsoft Defender, which is a robust option that is kept up to date through Windows Update. Many third-party applications offer more than just virus protection, suites like Trend Micro Internet Security include protection on both your computer against viruses, and protection when you're browsing online.

2. Avoid Running Multiple Anti-Virus or Anti-Malware Tools

Running several anti-malware tools applications on your computer can slow down or even hinder the performance of the system. The two software suites would usually conflict, meaning your system would be bogged down, and may even cause false positives to be detected. If you opt to install a third-party option, Microsoft Defender will step aside to avoid any potential conflicts.

3. Be Email-Savvy

If you receive an email from an unknown sender, be very caution of opening the message. It always pays to double-check the actual email address, as it's common practice for a malicious email sender to change their display name to a well-known company or service, such as 'Telstra' or 'Microsoft'. These types of emails will generally copy the look and feel of the actual website they're pretending to be, and ask you to click a link that would take you to their website. When you go through the links, you'll typically be asked to enter your username/email address and password for the service. If you find an email that you think is suspicious or fraudulent, you can mark the email as 'Spam' and even block the sender's email address, so they cannot send anymore emails to you usually that email address. 

4. Activate Pop-Up Blockers

Using Ad-blockers and Pop-up blockers will increase your security when browsing online. These add-ons will help prevent the potential for spammy ads or fake download buttons to be displayed on websites. For the Chrome and Firefox web browsers, we recommend installing the 'Adblock Plus' and 'Ghostery' extensions/add-ons. 

5. Regularly Update Windows & Other Applications

It's important to keep your operating system, and other applications up to date to ensure you stay protected. Security updates from Microsoft come through the Windows Update menu within Windows. We recommend keeping your Windows Update set to automatically install new updates. Third-party applications such as PDF viewers, media players and digital distribution platforms such as Steam will generally ask you to enable automatic updates when you initially install the application. 

6. Enable Safe Browsing Settings In Your Web Browser

Google Chrome:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click Privacy and security
  3. Make sure Enhanced protection is enabled
  4. Scroll down to Advanced, and make sure Use secure DNS is enabled

Google Chrome Safe Browsing Settings

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Click Privacy, search, and services
  3. Under Tracking prevention, select Strict
  4. Scroll down to Privacy and enable Send "Do Not Track" requests
  5. Scroll down to Security and enable Block potentially unwanted apps
  6. Scroll down to Enhance your security on the web and toggle the setting On, then select Strict

Tracking Prevention setting in Microsoft Edge

Privacy setting in Microsoft Edge

Enhance your security on the web setting in Microsoft Edge

Windows Virus and Malware FAQs

How Can I Keep My Windows Device Secure From Online Threats?

We have 4 simple steps to increase your protection online:

  • Regularly update your device's software
  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA), or two-factor authentication (2FA)
  • Backup your files
  • Use passphrases and password managers

For more tips, check out our Be Cyber Wise: Top Tips to Secure Your Digital World Blog Article 

What Is The Difference Between Viruses & Malware?

  • Malware is a broad term that covers all types of malicious software that is designed to harm or exploit a device or network.
  • A virus is a specific type of malware that is able to replicate itself by modifying computer programs and inserting its own code. 

What Are The Different Types Of Malware That Exist?

There are a number of different types of malware scattered throughout the internet. These malicious pieces of software are usually embedded in infected programs, documents and other types of files that may be found on the web. Some of the most common types of malware are:

  • Viruses
  • Ransomware
  • Spyware
  • Worms
  • Trojans
  • Rootkits
  • Keystroke Loggers

Will a third-party antivirus application slow down the performance of my PC?

Some antivirus and anti-malware suites can slow down your system's performance. We recommend choosing an option from a reputable software developer to ensure that you don't add unnecessary bloatware to your system that may decrease it's operating speeds. We can recommend the basic Microsoft Defender tool that is built into the Windows operating system, as well as Trend Micro Internet Security, and MalwareBytes Antimalware.

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