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Install Norton 360 Deluxe to help block viruses, malware, and other online threats.

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How to prevent computer viruses: Expert tips

Bearded man researching how to prevent computer viruses on his laptop in a home office setup.

Have you ever wondered how to prevent computer viruses from landing on your machine? Keep reading to learn expert tips that you can use to help fight malware. Then, get a powerful antivirus app like Norton 360 Deluxe to help protect against computer viruses and other online threats.

6 ways to help prevent computer viruses

Computer viruses are a type of malware. One of the best ways to fight viruses and other malware is to use antivirus software that can help identify and block malicious strains before they infect your device. It’s also important to keep your software and operating system updated, be careful about what you click online, and secure your network or use a VPN on public Wi-Fi.

Let’s look in more detail at how to avoid computer viruses landing on your computer.

1. Install antivirus and anti-malware software

As cyberthreats evolve and we spend more time banking, shopping, and browsing online, getting help to combat these threats is crucial. So, if you’re looking for help to stay safer while on the web, installing an antivirus is an easy but important solution that’ll give you peace of mind. And while there are free virus protection offerings, using reputable antivirus software with added features can provide the powerful protection you need to help proactively prevent, detect, and remove malware.

With Norton 360 Deluxe, you’ll get real-time help fighting viruses and other invisible threats that are hard to avoid on your own. Plus, it comes with a suite of built-in privacy and security tools, like a VPN to encrypt your connection and a password manager to help protect your online accounts.

2. Regularly update software

Another easy, practical measure to protect against viruses and malware is simply keeping your software and operating system updated. Regularly updating your apps and OS ensures that any vulnerabilities and flaws that developers fix are taken care of so that you stay better protected online. As a bonus, you’ll also benefit from any performance enhancements that are introduced.

3. Be careful with email attachments

Email attachments can be dangerous. Cybercriminals who are looking to spread a virus may resort to sending spam emails with a virus hidden in an attachment. They send it to as many people as possible, hoping that one or more users will open it. Once opened, the virus will install in the background and begin its harmful work.

If you don’t know the person who sent you an email attachment, then ignoring it is your best option. Only open and download files from your email if you trust the source.

4. Think before you click

It's always a good idea to be cautious while on the internet, especially when it comes to links, downloads, and attachments. Cybercriminals can hide malware like viruses behind them, so only click links or open attachments on websites you trust.

The internet is a vast labyrinth of websites and not all of them have the best intentions. To try and avoid malicious websites, always check a URL before clicking through. A bad URL can look deceptively similar to a legitimate one—perhaps with just one character off, so it pays to check carefully.

5. Secure your network

Strengthen your Wi-Fi network—it’s important to use a strong encryption protocol and change the default router password to help prevent unauthorised users from gaining access to your network. And remember that public Wi-Fi is risky as it could expose your computer to a virus if the connection is compromised by a hacker. So use a VPN to stay safer on public Wi-Fi.

6. Back up your data

While this tip won’t help you avoid getting a computer virus, it could help mitigate some of the damage and stress that comes with it if you do.

Keeping a backup of your essential files and data on a cloud backup system ensures they remain uncontaminated in a malware attack and are safely stored away in case the data on your computer is compromised or ruined.

For instance, PC Cloud Backup, which is a built-in feature of Norton 360 Deluxe, can accommodate 50 GB of files, more than enough for most people to safely stow away their personal and financial documentation. But if you need more, Norton 360 Advanced will give you up to 200 GB.

Close-up of hands typing on a laptop keyboard, representing routine maintenance for a clean PC

How to get rid of computer viruses on a laptop or computer

If you have a computer virus, the most reliable way to remove it is to use a dedicated virus removal service or tool. And if you don’t have antivirus installed on your device yet, choose reputable antivirus software that can help you scan, quarantine, and remove the infection.

Of course, prevention is always better than a cure, so before your computer is compromised, install comprehensive cybersecurity protection to get strong online security and privacy.

Get comprehensive virus protection with Norton 360 Deluxe

Norton 360 Deluxe is an all-in-one cybersecurity suite that offers powerful protection against viruses and other malware. With it, you can rest easy knowing that your computer and data are better protected against the variety of today’s online threats. Get Norton 360 Deluxe for multiple layers of protection in a single solution.

Oliver Buxton
  • Oliver Buxton
  • Cybersecurity writer
Oliver Buxton is an experienced cybersecurity writer with a deep interest in cyberwarfare, emerging cyber threats, and cyberattack countermeasures.

Editorial note: Our articles provide educational information for you. Our offerings may not cover or protect against every type of crime, fraud, or threat we write about. Our goal is to increase awareness about Cyber Safety. Please review complete Terms during enrollment or setup. Remember that no one can prevent all identity theft or cybercrime, and that LifeLock does not monitor all transactions at all businesses. The Norton and LifeLock brands are part of Gen Digital Inc. 


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