Virus threats are not new to the cyber community as it is one of those threatening factors that exist for decades now. Hackers are coming with all new malicious codes every then and now. You can find virus threats in the form of spyware, malware, Trojan horses, Worms, phishing scams, adware, ransomware and much more. The ideal solution to protect your system from virus threats is to keep your system up-to-date. Apart of it, some changes in online behavior can also help you deal with this menace. Let’s discuss ways to protect your computer from viruses and hackers.
Keep Software Up-to-date
To begin with, you should consider keeping your system up-to-date with all available updates. All software developers keep on releasing latest software updates on regular intervals to keep their software performance intact. Most of times, these updates are received via notifications on your system automatically. You should keep tab on these notifications and install them for improved and secured system. You can also try updating system following manual process. As each software update brings you certain bug fixes, security patches, and other useful features, it will help you protect your system from all threats.
Security and Vigilance
Linux kernel is secure by default. But, it doesn’t mean that the software installed in the Linux system are completely secure. For example, there is a possibility that any add-ons on your web browser may cause some serious security issues. While doing financial transactions over internet, some key logger may be active in browser which you are not aware of. Even though, we can’t completely give the bullet-proof security to our Linux box, we still can add an extra pinch of security using an application called Firejail. It is a security utility which can sandbox any such application and let it to run in a controlled environment.
Another notable chance to compromise a system is weak passwords. Many system breaches are happening due to weak passwords. Whether you're a system administrator or regular user, you must learn how to set password policies. Some non-techie people will not understand or simply don’t care about the security. They will keep using easily predictable passwords like pass123, welcome123, [email protected] etc., that can be easily broken in few attempts. Also, they won’t change the passwords for ages. As a System administrator, it is your job to enforce a strong password policy in order to protect your systems from dictionary-based and brute-force attacks.
If your system is connected in a network, consider restricting the TCP network services based on the hostname, IP address, network address using TCP wrapper. Please remember that TCP wrapper is not complete replacement to firewall. It is recommended to use it in conjunction with a fully configured firewall and other security mechanisms and tools.
Securing your system is not just enough. It is also possible to break your system through GRUB. So, it is highly recommended to password protect the Grub bootloader to tighten your system's security.
Mostly try to use VPN to protect your online privacy. There are many free VPN tools available. We have already published two guides regarding how to setup a VPN server. Refer the following guides to know how to setup a secure VPN server.
Always use end-to-end encrypted messengers to communicate securely with your family, friends, colleagues.
- Tox Messenger – A Free, Secure, And Open Source Alternative For Skype
- Ring – A free, open source and secure alternative to Skype messenger
Be more careful when sharing important files or folders over Internet. Always use legitimate tools to share your important data to your colleagues, friends and family.
- OnionShare – Share files of any size securely and anonymously
- iWant – The Decentralized Peer To Peer File Sharing Commandline Application
Encrypt your files to prevent data theft. There are many free tools available to secure your files and folders in your system. Some of them are listed below.
- Tomb – A File Encryption Tool To Protect Your Secret Files In Linux
- An Easy Way To Encrypt And Decrypt Files From Commandline In Linux
- CryptoGo – An Easy Way To Encrypt And Password Protect Your Files
- Cryptr – A Simple CLI Utility To Encrypt And Decrypt Files
If you're a smartphone user, check the following resources to secure and protect your devices, files.
- Safeguard Your Android Device From Malware Threat Via Systweak Anti Malware
- Systweak Android Cleaner: An Impressive Tool to Clean Your Device
- Keep Your Photos And Videos In A Password Protected Vault On Android
Avoid Suspicious Links & Attachments in Emails
The most followed method to spread malicious code online is through malicious links and attachments. These links & attachments come in your inbox with some luring offer or masquerading some original website. Once you click on these links or attachments they start infecting your system and cause serious threat to your system security. Thus, you should be mindful before clicking on any link or opening any attachment from unknown or suspicious sender.
You might be downloading different apps & software on regular intervals to keep your system performance intact. To keep your downloading safe, you should be extra careful about the source from where you are downloading. Always prefer to download from official website of any software and never click on any random link sent by some unknown source to download anything.
Be Careful with External Media
Another source of spreading malicious code is through external media. You should be vigilant while using some external media like USB drive, CD, etc. on your system. Make sure the external drive is reached to you from a reliable source and it doesn’t contain any malicious code. Further, try to scan external media with the anti-malware program (if any) installed on your system for extra security.
Backup, backup everything!
Performing backup on regular intervals is crucial. Humans make mistakes! No matter how careful we are, sometimes we may overlook an important step to secure the system. Thus, keeping data backup and setting restore points on your system can help you avoid data loss when your system is under attack. Here is some resources we recommend to backup your data.
- How To Setup Backup Server Using Rsnapshot In Linux
- Systemback – Restore Ubuntu Desktop and Server to previous state
- Cronopete – An Apple’s Time Machine Clone For Linux
- Here is my top 5 backup tools in Linux
Missed anything? Feel free to let us know in the comment section below.