1. Update Update Update!
Your operating system (Windows or MacOS for most people), Java, Adobe Flash, and your web browser (Edge, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Firefox, etc) are often the ticket for a virus to get onto your computer. Updates often fix security flaws that have been found in your software. Malware authors then reverse engineer these updates and create a virus, ransomware, or advertising software that is able to use your old software to install on your computer without your knowledge. By keeping software updated you are avoiding being a part of the large percentage of people who do not regularly update their software and are targeted by virus writers.
2. Install uBlock Origin and Remove Unnecessary Plugins
Often times malware, malicious software for short, comes from advertising on well known websites. An accidental click can lead you to a not so reputable site and the next thing you know your computer has locked up. uBlock Origin has a plugin for all major browsers and I highly recommend its use whenever you browse the internet. Also you want to remove other unecessary plugins. Espescially shopping and coupon plugins that create advertisements in websites that you are visiting. You can remove these plugins or extensions by going into your web browsers settings.
3. Scan Regularly
All reputable antivirus programs have a scheduled scan feature and some can even be set to scan when the computer is not in use. I recommend at least weekly scans setup. Running a deep scan every few weeks is also highly recommended. Also make sure your antivirus is from a reputable company.
4. Be Skeptical of Every Email
Social engineering is also something to be wary of. Phishers use emails that look like they are from your bank, insurance company, social media, and other sites to try and get your information. Occasionally these will be the source of a virus however they can pose an even larger risk to your finances and privacy.
5. Other Tactics
Microsoft will not call you and tell you that you have a virus! These fake tech support companies will call telling you there is a problem with your computer and this is nothing more than a scam! I hear it every day! Unless you are under warranty and YOU call your manufacturer I highly recommend using someone local. Compare prices and reviews and make an informed decision on who repairs your computer, tablet, or phone!