Here are some good rules to help keep your system clean.
Download from trusted sources
When possible download from well known sources such as CNET or FileHippo. Make sure you click the correct download button on these sites. Otherwise you may accidentally download software you don’t want.
Scan what you download
After downloading take a moment to scan what you downloaded. Find the file you downloaded and right-click over it. Then select whatever scan option you AV software provides. This is particularly true when downloading torrents. More so with software but you can get malware from music and movies as well.
Pay attention during installations
Almost all installs have additional software bundled in the main installation. Decline offers to install what you don’t want. They are counting on you just clicking Next to any screen that pops up.
If a site looks shady, it probably is
If the site looks off or odd, look for your download in other places.
Keep antivirus software up to date
Your AV software will update it’s malware definitions at least once or twice a day automatically. However AV vendors roll out updates to their scanning engines throughout the year. This is done to address new malware techniques as they are discovered.
When your AV software asks to update take a few minutes and do it. This can help save you hours of scanning in the future.
Apply Windows Updates
By default Windows applies updates ever day at 3:00 am. Leave your computer on overnight once or twice a week to give Windows a chance to apply updates.
You can manually apply updates by:
- Going to the Start menu and typing “Windows Update” in the search box at the bottom.
- Click on “Windows Update”.
- When the Windows Update box appears, click “Install Updates”.
Manually Scan Your System
About every 3-4 weeks, disable your AV software and perform a scan with Malwarebytes and then AdwCleaner. Make sure to update both applications for the latest definitions. In Malwarebytes select a “Threat Scan”.
This takes very little time and may save you some heartache down the road.
Remember to turn your AV software back on when done!