Whether you use your Windows PC to watch videos, play games, or work, there are precautionary measures you need to take to ensure that your system is secure and your personal data protected. Of all the operating systems available, Windows is known to be the most vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Fortunately, there are several ways you can keep your system secure. Here are five of the best.  

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The Top 3 Risks that Windows PC Users Face

There are various kinds of security risks that Windows PC users face, so before you safeguard your system it’s helpful to know what the most common threats are. Here are the top three.

  1. Malware is a blanket term that describes various types of malicious software designed to infect your computer and make it malfunction. Malware refers to worms, viruses, Trojans, and other malicious software developed by hackers.
  2. Phishing is a term used to describe falsified emails or messages that entice people to click on links that mislead them to give up their personal and/or financial information to thieves or hackers. 
  3. Ransomware is similar to malware in that it’s a type of software or code used to infect a system and make it malfunction. The difference between malware and ransomware is that ransomware encrypts and locks up all the data in the system, making it unusable until the user pays a sum of money to the hacker in exchange for the decryption code to unlock it.

5 Ways to Protect Your Windows PC 

Now that you’re familiar with the top three risks that Windows PC users face, you can take the proper precautions to ensure that your system is secure in 2021. 

  1. Keep Antivirus Software Updated

While Windows comes with built-in antivirus software, there are others you can choose from that offer additional layers of security. No matter which one you choose to use, make sure that it’s always up-to-date and turned on when you use your computer. 

  1. Enable Firewall Protection

Windows Defender also comes with a firewall that has advanced security features. It’s important to keep the firewall turned on as it filters two-way traffic and blocks unauthorized traffic from getting in or out of your device. 

  1. Use a VPN While Browsing the Internet

The best way to stay secure while browsing the internet or making purchases online is to use a VPN. A Virtual Private Network will hide your physical location by masking your IP address. It also encrypts all data that’s sent or received from your computer. 

  1. Avoid Connecting to Public Wi-Fi Hotspots

If you can help it, don’t connect to public Wi-Fi hotspots. There’s no way of knowing how secure these connections are, so when you connect to one and browse the internet you’re leaving your system vulnerable to a host of cyber-attacks. Instead, connect to your mobile’s personal hotspot. If you do need to use a public Wi-Fi hotspot, make sure you browse the internet with a VPN.

  1. Use a Password Manager

You should always set passwords wherever possible to keep your data secure and the passwords you set should be strong. They should contain a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols, and each password you set should be unique. It can be difficult to keep track of all your passwords on your own, but fortunately, there are many trusted password managers out there that you can use to stay organized and secure. 

Follow the five tips above to keep your Windows PC totally secure in 2021. 

Ryan Warner
Ryan is a US based student, he is currently pursuing his Advanced Astronomy degree.

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