– Install an Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware program. Be sure to keep this up to date and do weekly scans. Popular Anti-Virus solutions are McAfee and Norton. Microsoft Security Essentials is offered for free.
-Set up your Windows Update to automatically download patches and upgrades. This will allow your computer to automatically download any updates to both the operating system (i.e. Windows) and Internet Explorer. These updates fix security holes in both pieces of software.
Following these two tips is the basic minimum that you should do to help protect your computer but will not guarantee 100% protection. To further reduce the possibility of getting a virus or similar please read the following advice:
1: E-mail is a common way of getting infected
While you can safely open an E-mail, NEVER click on a link within it or open an attachment that you are not positive is from a trusted source.
- You get an E-mail from someone you DON’T know. Be cautious of E-mails sent to you from unknown sources that persuade you to click on links contained in the E-mail. Frequently these E-mails appear to be from banks or companies that you know. Businesses do not normally send unsolicited E-mails.
- You get (what appears to be) an E-mail from someone you DO know. Sometimes a virus can generate an email impersonating one of your contacts (or their computer is infected) and try to get you to open an attachment or click a link. Make sure you contact the person who sent the email before opening suspicious attachments or links. If in doubt, delete the unopened E-mail.
2: Instant messengers. Use the same caution that you use with email attachments and links.
3: Web sites
Visiting Adult, free game or gambling sites pose a very high risk of infection. Do not download software or Add-ons you that are unfamiliar with. This includes social websites such as Facebook.
4: Do not click on sudden pop-up windows while browsing the internet.
5: Stay away from file-sharing sites.
Sites that distribute illegal software, music, or movies are known to be riddled with viruses. This includes torrents or other forms of P2P activities (Limewire for example). Staying away from these sites and programs is in your computer’s health’s best interest, as well as a good way to avoid being sued for copyright violation.
6: Microsoft isn’t going to call you
We’ve seen a recent rise is this scam where someone calls you claiming to be from Microsoft but is only trying to remote into your computer to install a virus to force you to pay to have it removed. Don’t ever let someone remote into your pc if you don’t trust them.
The above advice is generally good practice to follow but is not a 100% guarantee that your computer will not get infected again in the future; however, by following these tips you minimize the possibility greatly.