The internet is a wonderful place where you can learn, work, and entertain yourself with all manner of media. But it can also be very dangerous, especially for casual users who have no idea about the dangers lurking online.
One of the most common questions asked by people who are not that internet savvy is, “Is it safe to visit any website?” The answer here is “No!” There are so many websites out there that are fronts for malicious software. There are thousands, maybe even hundreds of thousands of websites out there that are riddled with malicious scripts that will automatically install viruses, spyware, and other malicious software on your computer without you knowing.
In 2006, there was a notorious website called Goggle.com, which was regarded back then as an OS killer, mainly because it did so much damage that you would need to wipe your computer clean and reinstall a new Operating System. Its name was intentionally made to trick internet users, as Goggle was a common misspelling of Google.
When a person was unlucky enough to wander into Goggle.com back then (the authorities have since shut the site down), they would be redirected to thousands of different porn sites, and installed a myriad of malware on their hard disk, including spyware that could compromise personal information.
How can you protect yourself from these kinds of websites?
There are several ways that you can protect yourself from getting infected by malware from these malicious websites.
Using Ad block plugins
Most of the malicious software from websites is installed by popup ads. These irritating advertisements will pop in front of all the windows that you’re browsing, and force you to click on the “x” at the top-right corner. But that is actually the trigger that will install malware on your computer.
You can prevent this from happening by installing an ad blocker plugin in your web browser. These little pieces of code will detect if websites are launching popup ads and then they will force them to close. These plugins also block other intrusive ads from showing.
The problem with these kinds of plugins is that they also block legitimate advertisements that the honest website owners use to earn money from their sites. To prevent this from happening all the time, you can whitelist trusted websites so ads will appear on them.
Install antivirus software
You should never even attempt to go online if you don’t have at least one antivirus software installed. There are plenty out there that provide free, and legit antivirus software, but it’s best that you get the full protection coverage provided by the premium version of the antivirus.
Don’t be stingy! Just buy the premium version; $50 per year is still much cheaper than having your computer repaired when it gets infected by multiple viruses, or worse, have your identity stolen and used to ruin your credit.
Do not visit any sketchy websites
The best way to not get any viruses from websites is to actively avoid sketchy websites altogether. For instance, if you receive shortened links from your social media accounts, you should not click on them.
You should also not download anything from unofficial websites. If you happen to be redirected to websites where you can download applications, and you see that there are numerous “download” links, most likely all of them are fake. Do not click on any of them, and get out of there.
The internet is no doubt a wonderful place to visit, but it’s also full of all kinds of dangers. Before you explore the World Wide Web, you first need to make sure that you’re fully protected.