When it comes to security, it is necessary to also make sure your local computer and Internet environment is safe. The following are some basic steps you can take to protect your computer from viruses and other nasties:
- Take care when opening e-mail attachments: This is the most common way to import a virus onto a PC. Before opening an attachment, make sure you know who sent it. Also be cautious opening attachments with .pps, .exe, .scr or .pif file extensions as they often contain viruses.
- Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date: A number of commercial anti-virus products and anti-virus programmes are downloadable from the Internet.
- Install anti-spyware software: Protect PCs from Spyware and Adware: these programmes are placed on PCs without consent and track what is sent and received over the Internet.
- Use firewalls: Protect PCs from unauthorised access by hackers. Personal firewalls that prevent unauthorised access to PCs are available on the Internet.
- Keep updates and patches up to date: Regularly download security updates and patches for operating systems and other software. All software providers issue patches (fixes for bugs and security flaws found on any release of software) and service packs (several patches).
- Use hard-to-guess passwords: Mix upper case, lower case, numbers, or other characters not easily found in a dictionary, and make sure they are at least eight characters long. Turning passwords into a rhyme can help you to remember.
- Know where to look: Be aware of security issues and regularly use this checklist as a guide.
- Back up work: Regularly back-up PC data.
- Don't share PC access with strangers: Learn about file sharing risks.