How to protect your computer

Simply being online exposes you to potentially destructive viruses, and hackers who want to steal your information. Fortunately, it’s easy to guard against these threats.

Updated on 1 May 2018

6 tips to keep your computer safe from hackers

1. Update your software

Hackers are always looking for weak spots in your computer, smartphone or tablet. Fortunately software companies like Microsoft use software updates to stay one step ahead of hackers’ latest tricks. These updates close the weak spots to protect your devices and your personal information. They can also improve your device’s speed and performance.

So next time a software update reminder pops up, let it do its thing!


Good to know

The Microsoft’ Advanced Threat Protection software that’s built in to Windows 10 will be available for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 from mid-2018. This lets Microsoft customers add the best possible protection to their current software.


2. Remember to update on time

It’s important to install updates as soon as they’re released. This minimises the time that hackers have to find and exploit weaknesses in your devices.

The longer you leave a weak spot open, the more opportunity you give hackers to damage your device or steal your information.


3. Update automatically

The easiest way to keep your software up-to-date is to select ‘Install Updates Automatically’ in your settings. We recommend you do this.


For Windows 7

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button at bottom left
  2. In the search box, type ‘Update’, then in the results, select ‘Windows Update’
  3. In the left pane, select ‘Change settings’
  4. Under ‘Important updates’, select ‘Install updates automatically’
  5. Under ‘Recommended updates’, select the ‘Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates’ check box
  6. Select OK.

For Windows 8.1

  1. Open Windows Update by swiping or mousing inwards from the right edge of the screen
  2. Select ‘Settings’, then ‘Change PC settings’, then ‘Update recovery’, then ‘Windows Update’
  3. Select ‘Choose how updates get installed’
  4. Under ‘Important updates’, select ‘Install updates automatically’
  5. Under ‘Recommended updates’, select the ‘Give me recommended updates the same way I receive important updates’ check box
  6. Under ‘Microsoft Update’, select the ‘Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows’ check box
  7. Select 'Apply'

For Windows 10 

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button at bottom left
  2. Select ‘Settings’ then select ‘Update & security’
  3. Select ‘Windows update’
  4. Select ‘Advanced options’
  5. Under ‘Choose how updates are installed’, select ‘Automatic’

4. Or update manually

If you don’t have enough data to run automatic updates, you can check for updates manually. Here’s how to do it:

For Windows 7

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button at bottom left
  2. On the right of the ‘Start’ menu, select ‘Control panel’ 
  3. Select 'Windows update'
  4. Select ‘Install updates'

For Windows 8.1

  1. Select the ‘Start’ button  at bottom left
  2. On the ‘Charms’ bar select ‘Settings’
  3. Select ‘Control panel’
  4. Select the ‘System and Security’ window
  5. Select ‘Windows update’ then select the ‘Change settings’ link

For Windows 10 and Anniversary Update

  1. Click the ‘Start’ button at bottom left
  2. For Anniversary Update click on the ‘cog’ symbol
  3. Select ‘Settings’ just above the ‘Start’ button
  4. From the ‘Settings’ screen, select ‘Update and Security’
  5. Select ‘Check for updates’

5. Update your browser and anti-virus software

It’s also a good idea to make sure you have the latest versions of your web browser, and any anti-virus software you’ve installed. We suggest you run an anti-virus scan regularly to help keep your device and data secure.


6. Update software on ALL your devices

Your computer isn’t the only device hackers target. So it’s important to update the software on your other devices like smartphones and tablets.

To update software on Android devices

To update software on IOS devices


Want more information?

For more tips on protecting your personal details online visit Telstra’s Consumer Advice Page


A tip for Telstra Home Broadband customers is to make sure that Telstra Broadband Protect Network Protection is turned on, as it will help block loading malicious websites that could potentially download viruses.

We’re here to help

Having trouble with updating your computer software?

Contact us to get in touch with the experts at Telstra Platinum.

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