A few decades ago, computer viruses were the most dangerous type of malware. Within minutes, a virus could corrupt your files and leave your computer inoperable. Unfortunately, computer viruses have taken a backseat to more serious threats in the modern age. For example, computer worms, rootkits, ransomware, spyware, Trojan password stealers, gamer Trojans, and keyloggers, can be far more challenging to remediate.
Even lesser threats like adware, browser hijackers, and malicious toolbars can use up computer processing power and drop your framerates. And many of these threats hide behind software to infect unsuspecting computer users. That’s why it’s prudent to adopt some of the following precautions when installing PC games:
#1 Buy from Authentic Sources
Always purchase games from authentic platforms, as piracy websites are often the source of malware. Here are some of the most reputable sources for PC games:
- Valve Corporation’s Steam
- EA’s Origin
- Blizzard’s Battle.net
- Ubisoft’s Uplay
- Green Man Gaming
Having said that, even legitimate platforms can carry malware. For example, App Store malware can impact many Mac gamers. Likewise, Chromebook gamers have to be careful about malware on the Google Play Store.
#2 Pay with Secure Mediums
Online financial fraud is a significant issue with gaming purchases. To reduce your risk, pay with a credit card instead of a debit card, as bank account fraud is trickier to reverse. And if you have no choice but to pay with debit, create a separate bank account for online purchases. Alternatively, use a payment medium like PayPal that has some checks and balances in place to stop fraud. You can also dispute transactions through PayPal more quickly than with a bank.
#3 Scan the Game for Malware
Your operating system’s baked-in antivirus software may not catch all emerging threats against gamers, though it should stop most viruses. You’ll need advanced antivirus software that features anti-malware technology powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning. Using the right security tools, scan your gaming PC regularly to protect it from hacking techniques that employ malicious software.
#4 Stay Cautious
Follow the remediation steps suggested by your anti-malware software if it raises red flags instead of opening potentially malicious software out of curiosity. This is because some types of malware rely on your click to initiate. For example, a PC virus only spreads after you activate it, and a virus could be piggybacking on a .exe file. Similarly, don’t open unknown .iso files either. An .iso file is an optical image of a disc like a CD, DVD, or BD and can carry sophisticated malware designed to devastate your PC.
#5 Download the Lates Updates
Don’t run your new game without downloading and applying the latest updates. In addition, use the newest drivers. Not only can patches help your game run smoothly, but they can also close security flaws that malware may exploit to infect your computer.
It’s a terrible feeling when malware infects your beloved gaming PC. So, use all necessary safeguards to ensure that your installation is secure. In addition, maintain your computer’s security with regular anti-malware scans and patch updates for your operating system.