Protecting Your Computer From Viruses and Spyware

Security has become a huge concern for many users, especially if you are online on a frequent basis. It is important to ensure that your computer is as secure as possible to prevent unauthorized users from poking around in your computer.

There are many steps that you can take to ensure that your information is safe:

  1. Use a hardware firewall with a strong password associated with the administrative account. Many routers have a built-in firewall.
  2. Install a good software firewall, such as ZoneAlarm.
  3. Install a good anti-virus. Retail products include McAfee, and Norton from Symantec. A good free alternative is AVG.
  4. Note: Only install one anti-virus software on your computer. You could run into problems if more than one is installed.

  5. Install anti-spyware software such as Ad-Aware and Spybot – Search & Destroy. Both of these can be installed on the same computer.
  6. Install all security updates for your operating system. The updates can be set to automatically download and install.
  7. Update your anti-virus and anti-spyware software. The updates can be scheduled or be done manually from within the software.
  8. Schedule your anti-virus and anti-spyware software to run at least once a week. You should also run them manually if you suspect a virus or spyware has infected your computer.
  9. If you have children, setup parental controls on your firewalls (both hardware and software). This will help prevent your children from visiting less that ideal Web sites.
  10. Don’t open e-mails from individuals you don’t know. Just delete them.
  11. Don’t click a URL link in an e-mail. Instead, copy and paste the link into a Web browser manually to ensure you open the correct Web page.

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