You might have heard that you can get hacked just by visiting a website, or that your company’s equipment and entire network could be compromised by employees surfing on the web. And yes, that is theoretically a risk. Something called “drive-by downloads” can happen if you visit a website infested with malware. That means by simply visiting the website, malware is automatically downloaded onto your computer. From there, the malware can damage your computer, steal data, lock your data, or even spread to your entire network.

But generally speaking, this situation shouldn’t be happening if you take the proper precautions to prevent drive-by downloads.

Install and use anti-malware software on every device. An anti-malware program is designed to protect your computers from exactly this type of threat, and will therefore protect your data as well. Of course, no software is foolproof if you don’t install all updates right away, as soon as they are released. And if just one of your work computers is unprotected, your network could still be vulnerable. So make sure all employees are using anti-malware software and know to allow automatic updates when they become available.

Use anti-advertisement software. Unfortunately, advertisements have become a huge source of drive-by downloads (“malvertisements”). Website owners are too busy to screen out the bad ads, and most people can’t tell the difference. So simply blocking advertisements from your web surfing experience can offer significant protection against automatic downloads of malware.

Check links before clicking them. Hover over the link address and check it out prior to clicking, or use a URL decoder. If a link looks suspicious, don’t click on it. It should point to a website you trust (be sure to look for intentional misspellings, which can make bad URLs look legit).

And of course, working with an independent IT team can help you to obtain the most comprehensive protection for your equipment and network. Call us at 888-RING-MY-TECH, and we’ll walk you through the various ways of safeguarding your computers, network, and crucial data so that business operations go off without a hitch.