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Every business computer accesses the internet, as such it’s time to put some thought into how you can help protect your company’s machine against malware and other suspicious programs that want to hijack your critical data. Far from simply being annoying to deal with, some types of malicious programs can bring your business to a standstill, impact your customers in terms of identity theft and access to their bank accounts or credit cards.

Malware can be encountered anywhere. While most people know not to download any email attachments or click on any links that come from sources they don’t know, those are not the only way to end up exposing a computer to dangerous programs. Pirating software, movies, or music; accepting user agreement pop-ups without reading them; and downloading any kind of software from the internet are all risky. Some legitimate websites can even plant tracking cookies and other relatively benign, but still undesirable, items on a computer without the user realising it.

While malware have a negative impact on a computer’s performance, that isn’t the only reason why there’re harmful. Some of them can even hold a computer abd data hostage– locking it up until the owner pays a fee, sometimes through sites disguised as ones owned by groups like Amazon. Others can actually hijack a person’s usernames and passwords, compromising everything from their email to their online banking accounts. Tracking cookies can be used to track and save users’ internet browsing, invading their privacy.

One of the simplest ways to protect a business computer is to remove admin rights, this means each time a staff member wants to download software or run a .exe file, they will be prompted to type in the Administrator username and password. An average user does not require administrative rights to run their own machine. If programs need installing, then this is something your IT support provider should do manage, under a special, administrative account which can be accessed remotely.

Having anti-malware programmes installed on your computers are also important, just make sure you keep them up to date. Also make sure they are active whenever the computer is connected to the internet, and use them to run regular scans of the computer’s hard drive. However, beware of “scareware”– fake antivirus programs that exploit users’ fear of viruses to extort registration fees from them. It’s also important to keep operating systems up-to-date; many updates take care of things like security issues that can accidentally let malicious programs through.

While some types of malware can certainly be more annoying than others, it’s important to protect against all of them. Some of the worst programs are ones that users don’t even know are installed on their machines. With the right protection, there’s no reason to have to worry about malware negatively impacting your PC’s performance, user experience and security / privacy.

If you work for a London business we can take care of your computer security issues for you. Simply get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.

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