The McAfee Threats Report for the first quarter of the year shows that the amount of bad software known as malware targeting PC’s was at the highest level in four years. There were also big increases in the threats targeting Android mobile phones and Mac computers.
Despite what might sound like a big problem, it is important not to be put off making the most of being online. It is easy to protect yourself from most of these problems by taking some simple precautions. This video helps to explain the effects of malware and what to look out for.
Following these simple steps should also help to reduce your risk:
- Never open emails, attachments or messages on social networks from people you don’t know. Delete them and empty the bin.
- Don't click on links in emails without checking where they take you. If you are sent a link from a business you know, browse directly to their site and check there.
- Use different passwords for different networks or services, so then if one is compromised the others will still be secure.
- Make sure you are using the latest version of all your software, with the latest security patches.
- Make sure your personal firewall is switched on. There are lots of good ones available or at the very least turn on the built-in Windows firewall.
- Make sure you have antivirus software installed, that it's switched on and auto-updating regularly.
- Only download software from reputable sources. Free games and screensavers might be hiding malicious software.
You can find out a lot more about cybercrime and find out how to protect yourself and your computer in our online guide.