Do you use the internet too often? What do you always do online? Maybe you are on the internet to do some research. Perhaps you want to buy something online, download some content, or just visit multiple websites.
Regardless of what takes you to the internet, it is always wise to consider one major factor – your safety. And that brings us to the theme of our article today; is it safe to surf the internet without antivirus on your computer?
Some will say yes, while others will say no. But which is true? Let’s discuss that, shall we?
Honestly, the internet is not a safe place, especially if you visit it without a stable antivirus. Here are some of the ways that viruses can take advantage of you as you surf the internet.
- Through the Social Media
Since the internet was introduced, most of the users have spent their time on social media. Approximately, 80% of internet users are mostly found on social media, with Facebook being the most popular platform.
The social media is closely associated with a malware called grayware. This malware might not behave like other malware/viruses. Also, it won’t do some physical damage to your data. Instead, it comes like an adware/spyware.
Grayware always comes in the form of a Click Bait (online content that aims at attracting your attention and making you click on the link presented). This Click Bait will lead the reader to a website that will prompt them to fill in a specific survey before they can access the ‘hidden’ media. Once you fill in the survey form, the info will be collected and sold to cybercriminals.
The cybercriminals can then use the information you gave to hack into your personal account. Always try as much as you can to stay safe against the common scams.
However, grayware is not the only malware found on the social platforms. Instead, there are other lethal malware content you can come across. For instance, back when the all-time best TV show, Breaking Bad, was airing, a famous Twitter Scam roamed the internet. Some links were posted on the internet with the aim of luring visitors to download a leaked copy of the following episode.
This link would then take the users to a program that would let the play the episode. This was just an affiliate program that was used by spammers to make money. With these scams, they might seem harmless, but they can spy on your personal content and dish them out to the wrong people.
The only way to stay safe against these grayware and other spyware stuff is to avoid clicking on suspicious links. If you want a decent antivirus for your computer, here are the top 10 antivirus reviews to consider.
- The Online Games Portal
If you think these online games are safe and that they cannot pose any threat to your computer, think twice. The saddest part of it all is that you can find several online games that are free to play. So yes, they won’t cost you a penny, but you will spend hours online just to make your game character better. However, these online game platforms can be infiltrated by a bot that is in the chat rooms.
The bot will lure the user to click a link that enters them to a raffle. The raffle comes in the form of a Java. This will then target the user’s account and wipe out the gaming wallet and inventory. These items/wallets will then be sold to the gaming community for real money.
Also, some game add-ons are present in the gaming platforms. Here, they will prompt you to install the add-on, which comes like a trojan. The trojan will then take control of the user’s account and all the personal info.
The best way to stay safe on gaming platforms is to disable the suspicious programs as you play the game. Furthermore, there are other online game threats that you should avoid when playing online.
- The Exploit Kits
Have you ever come across a banner/ad content that prompts you to update a specific program on your computer? In most cases, they would ask you to update what is actually out of date. This will make you trust the banner and proceed to download the program.
That is how exploit kits work. They will search your computer for any software that is not updated. The kits will then look for security holes in the software with the aim of making you download the malware. In most cases, it will happen when you visit a specific website. Sadly, it can happen even in the trusted websites.
These pieces of malware are called Malvertising because they are advertising malware content but pretend to advertise something that you need on your computer. But there can also be other ways that websites can take advantage of you. They will redirect you to a site that hosts an exploit kit.
Here, you will need to keep your software updated at all times.
Going The Right Way: Installing an Antivirus
So yes, you can try to stay safe on social media platforms by avoiding the suspicious links, or disable suspicious programs/add-ons on gaming platforms, or even update your software frequently. But all that will not keep you safe from the malicious content online. The best way to stay safe as you browse the internet is to install a good antivirus on your computer.
How will the antivirus protect me from the malicious content?
Some people think antivirus programs are only there to detect the virus and malware content on the computer. However, they also stretch their hand of protection to the online world.
- Detecting malicious websites. The antivirus will instantly detect any malicious website and alert you. Some antivirus programs will also block those websites before they can load on your browser.
- Blocking Spyware. If you land on a trusted website and a spyware/adware pops up, the antivirus will instantly block it from spying your computer.
- Blocking suspicious downloads. You will also know if a download is safe or not. The antivirus can detect if the download is trusted or not.
Clearly, you should have a good antivirus to protect you from the malicious content online – even if you are already using Windows Defender.