How To Protect Your Computer From Malware/Viruses/Adware By: Greenman1 Have you ever heard that a Mac (and a PC running Linux) can't get a virus? There are some viruses for Mac but most viruses are for Windows. Why? Because majority of computer users have Windows installed and a lot of people who are new to computers start with Windows. This is why you want to protect your Windows PC from viruses. This guide will help you protect your PC from bad software. Protecting Chrome Do you still use Internet Explorer? Don't use it! It is a very outdated browser and you want to use a modern browser. I recommend Chrome or Firefox over Microsoft Edge because of the extensions. This is going to be showing you how to protect Chrome. When you open a new tab is the search engine a trusted search engine (this includes Google,Bing,Yahoo,DuckDuckGo etc.)? Even if the page looks like a trusted search engine check the URL! Look up the real link for the search engine and see if it matches. If it doesn't you need to remove it! To remove a fake or bad search engine: Click the ... in the top right corner to open the Chrome menu Choose Settings (if a virus redirects you type in the address bar chrome://settings) Search for Search Engine and click Manage Search Engines Delete any fake search engines from the default Go back and search for On startup If the Open a specific page or set of pages is on delete all the bad pages Go back and search for Protect Find the Protect you and your device from dangerous sites and Send a "Do Not Track" request with your browsing traffic switches and make sure they're on Now try restarting Chrome and it should be fixed (if not it's a virus on your PC). Another thing you want is an AdBlocker. This will block ads but some blockers also prevent adware on hacked sites. I recommend any of these Chrome extenstions: uBlock Origin (by Raymond Hill) Adguard AdBlocker (by adguard.com) Poper Blocker (by poperblocker.com) I also recommend HTTPS Anywhere (by eff.org). This extenstion will use the https:// (secure) version of a site automatically if it supports it. Uninstall Programs Some "viruses" are just programs that come pre-installed when you get your PC. This is called bloatware. Some viruses can act like bloatware and be easily removed. If you used an installer to get the program then here's how to remove unwanted programs. Press Windows Key+R and in the Run box type Control Panel Click on Uninstall a program under Programs in Control Panel Click on a piece of software to select it and click Uninstall to uninstall it Free Anti-Malware/Anti-Virus A good final step is to install an anti-virus and anti-malware program. The difference between the two is that anti-virus protects you against past viruses while anti-malware protects you against current viruses. Some good free anti-virus software is: Avast Bitdefender (Free Edition) Avira Windows Defender is an okay anti-virus but I would recommend one on the list. Malwarebytes (Free Edition) is also good and it's not on this list because it's anti-malware software. Malwarebytes won't protect you in real time but if you think you have malware already on your pc, run a scan, and it detects malware, it will do a good job of cleaning out the malware. If you get the Premium edition of Malwarebytes you will get web and real time protection. False Positives A false positive is when a program that isn't malware or a virus is detected as one. This usually happens to hacking/cheating tools like Cheat Engine. Luckily you can add exclusions in your anti-virus and anti-malware software so you can run these programs while still being protected. Conclusion Even with all of this protection one of the best things you can do is use common sense! If you see an ad like that says "Play Cuphead for free!" you know that Cuphead isn't a free game so you shouldn't click it. If you are unsure about a download I would put the download link through VirusTotal.