Password1234: A Series in Digital Personal Security, Part 3
Guest writer Jason Bird, Network Analyst for Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® Technology Department
What a time to be alive! I remember a time where I did not even run anti-malware, anti-ads, or even anti-virus software. The times have changed and it’s time to vaccinate your computer. We want to prevent infection before it can even occur.
Now, the vast majority of this blog will be geared toward Windows users as Mac users are largely (but not completely) immune to viruses and most malware. The first step is to get a comprehensive cleanup of your computer, and wouldn’t you know, that’s a service we offer the agents free of charge in the Technology department. You need to clean out any bad things that are currently rummaging around your computer or logging your keystrokes. A side benefit of this, your computer will probably perform much better.
After the computer is clean and sanitary, we need to install anti-virus. Paid anti-virus is better than free, but free versions are way better than no version. We recommend AVG in the Technology department because it does not interfere with Xnet like Avast! does. Again, the Technology department can do this for agents free of charge. If you wish to pay for an anti-virus, give me a shout, I will guide you to the best your money can buy.
Thirdly, I would install an anti-malware program. I recommend Malwarebytes. It is free for the reactionary version. That means the free version will actively scan and find infections. The paid version runs much like anti-virus: passively. It will stop malware before it can even gain root. It works quite well, it is a good product and not destructive like other anti-malware can be.
Lastly, and often most overlooked, I would use a modern browser (NOT Internet Explorer) like Chrome or Firefox with Adblock Plus installed. The last tidbit is one I do for agents and they almost never know it. It runs as an extension in the background, silently, and hidden from view and it blocks those pesky ads. There are two big benefits from this. First off, those pesky ads are a common way for malware and even viruses to infect your computer, so we stop that right at the source. A secondary benefit is no longer the need to go to third-party sites to load those ads, reducing load times for your websites. Who does not love faster load times?!
To remind you, again, the Technology department can do all these things for you. Just give us a call and set up a time. The age, infection load, and speed of the computer will determine how long it will take. We can even do most of these things remotely, so you don’t have to drive to Stone Oak!
Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper REALTORS, Technology Department
The Technology Department is a team of professionals dedicated to the support of all the Sales Associates and staff at Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS®. To find out how to join our team visit us here.