How to secure your Windows PC in 2021?

While Windows may be the most popular computer OS out there today, it continues to face particular challenges, namely challenges in the cybersecurity. - Article by Kunal Chowdhury on

What started as a pipe dream between two teens quickly turned into reality—having their own business. Bill Gates and Paul Allen started Microsoft back in 1979 and have worked into turning it into the billion-dollar corporation it is today.

 

While Windows may be the most popular computer OS out there today, it continues to face particular challenges, namely challenges in the cybersecurity sector.

 

How to secure your Windows PC in 2021?

 

 

Risks Facing Windows Devices

1. Ransomware

There are dozens of types of malware, from malware that tracks everything a user does (spyware) to malware designed to bombard ads at the victim. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more terrifying piece of malware than ransomware.

 

When ransomware infects a device, it’s as good as gone. Ransomware spreads throughout a network of devices and locks each one, encrypting all data found on the computer. Once done, the next time the user turns the PC on, they will be greeted with a message threatening to delete all the computer’s data unless the victim pays a certain sum of money.

 

Risks Facing Windows Devices - Ransomware

 

Ransomware has been the cause of some of the largest hacks in modern history and has caused billions in damages. The worst part? There’s nothing stopping cybercriminals from continuing ransomware deployments.

 

2. Phishing Scams

Since the early days of AOL, phishing scams have infected every corner of the Internet. Emails promising a free gift card to Walmart, websites requesting personal information for a “survey,” and callers masquerading as Microsoft support agents in hopes of gaining access to your Windows PC: these are only a few examples of phishing that goes on today.

 

Risks Facing Windows Devices - Phishing Scams

 

While all types of devices suffer from phishing to some extent, many scammers target Windows devices due to how familiar the OS is. This is why many phishing calls begin with someone saying they’re from Microsoft.

 

How to Protect Your Windows Device?

There are many more threats than the two listed above, but those two threats are as prevalent and relevant as ever in today's cybersecurity scene. So, then, what can Windows users do to protect their devices?

 

Encrypt your Data with BitLocker and a VPN

Rule number one of cybersecurity: unencrypted data is data waiting to be stolen. It’s imperative that all Windows users take advantage of the numerous encryption options available today, the two most prevalent being BitLocker and a VPN.

 

BitLocker encrypts your PC’s storage drives and requires a password to access said data. Because your device’s entire storage is encrypted, it’s hard for cybercriminals to get their hands on your data.

 

How to Protect Your Windows Device? - Encrypt your Data with BitLocker and a VPN

 

But what about VPNs? A VPN for your Windows computer focuses on encrypting the data the device sends out, not the data stored on it. For example, when you use a public network to check your bank account or get some work done, others on the network will, with the right equipment, be able to see your online activity and harvest the data you’re sending across the network. A VPN encrypts this data and masks your presence on the network.

 

Update Windows and subsequent software

Rule number two: never go too long without updating your PC. Software updates include more than a few quality-of-life features and stability fixes. Often, developers will include security fixes in their software updates, Microsoft included.

 

Corporations like Microsoft are always working with cybersecurity firms to plug any potential leaks, holes, and backdoors in their software. And software updates are the perfect place to add the solutions.

 

 

Conclusion

There is no such thing as a malware-free software platform, nor is there such a thing as a scam-free platform. However, due to its widespread use, Windows seems to attract the largest pool of scammers and hackers. With these tips, you’ll be able to protect your device.

 





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