Here’s how to defeat malware on your computers


Spyware will not necessarily demand a ransom from you, but it will monitor your activities and log your data without your knowledge.

Moreover, these malicious programs or scams can do everything from hijack your webcam’s video link to logging your keystrokes. From there, they can also collect enough of your personal data to steal your identity, take control of your accounts, or expose your digital life.

But with a little discipline, a vigilant outlook, and a few dollars a year, you can stay safe from spyware.

Update your system and software

Let’s start with the good news, even as spyware gets smarter and more sophisticated, as do web browsers and operating systems by integrating more security tools. However, it costs nothing, you should always keep your system, software and security tools updated with the latest patches released by the vendors.

Secure your system with antivirus software

Along with system updates, powerful antivirus software for Windows and macOS will protect you from a wide range of malware, keyloggers, and other webcam hacks.

Before making your choice of antivirus, calculate the number of devices to protect; In addition to your computers, there are certainly tablets and smartphones in the house.

To get you covered, there are plans on the market that cover all types of devices; Bitdefender, McAfee, Norton, Avira, and Avast are just a short list of antivirus software vendors. Go to www.av-comparatives.org for independent reviews. By shopping, you can reduce the annual cost by subscribing for more than a year.

About macOS Protection

Despite the advantages of macOS, experts recommend strengthening its defenses by adding an antivirus package. There are several good reasons for this. First, Apple’s approach may be appropriate for well-established malware if you update as soon as it’s released, but it may not respond quickly enough to new threats. Second, you get wider coverage against malware. Third, macOS is not immune to bugs. For more details about the anti-virus defense functions, read the note


at the end of the text.

On the Windows 10/11 side, the situation is simpler, Microsoft already offers its own antivirus – Windows Security – use it. On the other hand, your other devices will still need an antivirus.

If you want more protection on Windows, the free version of Spybot Search & Destroy performs a deep scan as an additional layer of defense. Or even Norton Power Eraser if you suspect that your main antivirus software seems unable to detect a potential hacker.

As long as you install one of these antivirus packages, it will significantly reduce the risk of infection on your computer, between your devices or the devices of your friends or colleagues transferring files to you on USB keys.

Microsoft Windows Security

Microsoft

Microsoft Windows Security

More than one user per computer?

Along the same lines, and even if everyone in the family is trustworthy, don’t share your user account with someone else. Protect these accounts with passwords and create one account for each user. In Windows, do this by going to Settings > Accounts; On macOS, go to the Apple menu > System Preferences > Users & Groups.

Be careful what you install

Also, you will need to be careful what you install on your computer and from where you download it.

Harmless messages, email attachments, social media content, fraudulent web links, and computer threats can come from anywhere.


Make sure you get your new software from trusted sources or from the Apple, Google, or Windows app stores. Same logic for web browsers, extensions, and add-ons. As for the latter, carefully read their characteristics, some of them, as you will see, are a real snitch despite the advantages they provide. Remember that nothing is for free.

oz – stock.adobe.com

Watch out for suspicious tags

If, despite your software defenses and discipline, your computer appears to be taking suspicious actions, such as a sudden drop in performance, using a hard drive or CPU, or launching an unexpected application in the middle of a session, then there is Sea snake under the rock. Or windows that appear briefly and then disappear again, indicating that a program is loading and then hiding.

Other strange actions include mouse movements or entering unexplained text, which could be a sign of something unknown running in the background; changes to the operating system settings; Apps shortcuts that you didn’t notice before.

To get to the bottom of it, in Windows, go to the Task Manager, and select the Processes tab to check the apps and all the processes in use. On macOS, open the Activity Monitor tool, execute Command+1 to open the Activity Monitor window (also available in the Windows menu) and select the Processor tab to sort the list of programs according to the system resources they have.

This might sound too complicated to you, but keep an eye out for suspicious or unknown processes and do a quick web search for their names to find out what they are.

For example, a malicious program could use your computer’s “free” processing capabilities to generate (my) bitcoins.


With all these precautions and especially by adopting good habits, the chances of seeing your favorite system captured by a malware are very slim. Don’t neglect them.

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* To understand how macOS defenses work, Apple includes some anti-malware capabilities. First, there is the Gatekeeper, which warns when running applications that do not have a digital signature. Then there’s XProtect, which scans files against signatures of known malware. Finally, Apple provides MRT (Malware Removal Tool). Gatekeeper and MRT are essentially invisible to users and have no direct user interface.

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