Computer Security is not as complex as it may seem. In fact, keeping your computer safe and secure on the Internet is as simple as checking your email.
The first step is making sure you have an up-to-date antivirus and anti-spyware program. Though tools like HouseCall make for excellent solutions, one must have an active program on their systems to prevent the initial virus infection. Free antivirus programs like AVG Anti-Virus are excellent products, easy for anyone to operate and update automatically. Anti-Spyware programs like
Lavasoft's AdAware and Spybot: Search and Destroy help to protect your system from possible spyware intrusions but require manual updating.
The second step is keeping a schedule for cleaning and maintaining your system. Though many antivirus programs have an automatic scan setting, you may be working on your system or you may not have it on at that time. It is better to do it manually to be sure that your system is secure. Find a time during the week when you can devote at least an hour or more to maintaining your computer. Run your anti-spyware programs first as they tend to take the
least amount of time. Then, run your antivirus. Be prepared for some downtime as both antivirus and anti-spyware put a lot of work on your CPU.
This is also an excellent time to run other system tools such as your disk defragmenter, disk cleanup and scan disk programs. These are best run after your antivirus and anti-spyware programs.
The last step to making your system safe is by keeping the system itself up-to-date. Regardless of version or company, store bought or open source, older software or the newest kid on the block; independent programmers and operating system makers alike are working to improve the security and reliability of their products. As the end user of said products, it is up to you to keep your operating system and programs up to date.
Every system has their own way to download and install updates. The same can be said for your programs. Learn the "In's" and "Out's" of your operating system and how to keep it up to date. This will keep your system secure and running smoothly for years to come.
Like a car, your computer requires basic maintenance to keep it running at its best. Though there are many many more ways to keep your computer safe, these are but a handful of tips to get you started on the right track.