How to protect your computer against Spectre and Meltdown


Earlier this month, two new security threats that can affect computers were discovered. They were quick to receive a name and they’re now known as Spectre and Meltdown. Why is it so important to solve these two problems as soon as possible? Most important of all, Meltdown and Spectre can seriously affect every PC manufactured in the last 20 years. Most precisely, the processors inside them, such as the ones made by AMD, ARM, IBM, Intel and so on.

To go even deeper into the heart of the matter, computer owners potentially affected by these issues can see their PCs attacked by hackers. In theory, the latter could be able to steal private info such as encryption keys, passwords and many more at any time. Attackers could easily employ JavaScript codes that run in your device’s browser in order to use memory in the process.

Fortunately, so far no major attack was registered, which means there’s no reason to panic just yet. Apple, Microsoft and many other big names have come up with a series of updates for their respective software to make sure the problems won’t affect computer and laptop owners. We’ll keep you posted on how things evolve. In the meantime, we have some useful ways to protect your computer against Spectre and Meltdown.

Use a strong antivirus for your PC

Security solutions are here to once again save the day for us. The people behind them pay very close attention to all sorts of problems that may arise. That is why their creations are better and better as time goes by and why you should rely on a security product in the case of Meltdown and Spectre, too.

You can find a list of the best security solutions here. Norton, Kaspersky and BitDefender are only some of the strongest names in the business, but there are many other options you should give a chance.

Download software to check your PC’s system

Sometimes, the easiest way to see if your computer’s been affected by either Spectre, Meltdown or both is to download a special tool (or more). In this case, the Ashampoo Spectre Meltdown CPU Checker is your best pick. After you download it on your computer, it will quickly scan your device and tell you if there’s a problem or not. Another good option is InSpectre from GRC.

Update your computer’s hardware and software

Microsoft have already released one of their usual security updates for both older versions of Windows and Windows 10.

The update should download automatically. If it doesn’t, go to your device’s taskbar, look for the search bar and type the following: windows update. Next, select “Check for updates” and wait till the necessary update is found. Once that happens, download and install it.

Keep your computer’s browser updated

Browsers have always been one of the favorite methods of attack for hackers. Currently, browser manufacturers are working hard to update their creations. If you use Mozilla, you should know that they took solid measures to prevent attacks from happening by decreasing the precision of the timers in Firefox.

Chrome users should use something called “site isolation” in the browser, as it offers ways to keep your computer safe against Meltdown and Spectre. Be aware, however, that this might slow your computer down. To turn this option on, type the following into Chrome’s address bar: chrome://flags/#enable-site-per-process. Next, click Enable and let it do its thing. Try it with Vivaldi or Opera if you prefer either of these browsers instead.

Whatever you do, remember to always keep your favorite browser up to date.

Visit your PC’s OEM site

Every computer has an OEM official website. Go to the one which belongs to yours and look for these two important things: firmware updates and support information. If there’s any available in both cases, make sure to apply them straight away.

You’ll save yourselves a lot of trouble should any kind of attack appear in the near future.

Spectre and Meltdown have been reported not too long ago and computer owners have understandably been into a panic ever since. Not to worry, things are under control for now. If, however, you want to sleep peacefully at night, we recommend taking a look at today’s post on how to protect your computer against Spectre and Meltdown.