Guide to Online Protection - Protecting Against Malware

There are several easy ways to protect your computer against malware:

  • Anti-spyware protection: Make sure your computer has an anti-spyware protection program that detects and removes all forms of spyware, which can steal vital information. Use this program to scan your computer frequently. Many software companies offer software that will protect you from a wide variety of spyware threats, and also will provide customer service in case you have questions. To keep up with any new threats, be sure to keep your anti-spyware program updated.

    A list of trustworthy anti-spyware programs is available from: http://spywarewarrior.com/
  • Anti-virus protection: Make sure your computer has an anti-virus protection program that detects and removes viruses. Software from major providers will protect you from a wide variety of threats, and also will provide customer service in case you have questions. Be sure to always keep your anti-virus program updated.

    A list of trustworthy anti-virus programs is available from: http://www.av-comparatives.org/
  • Firewalls: Firewalls can be utilized both on your home network and directly on your PC. Those that run directly on your PC are called "personal firewalls" and help protect your PC wherever it may be.

    A list of trustworthy personal firewalls is available from: http://www.firewallguide.com
  • Automatic upgrades: Buy a protection program that automatically upgrades your spyware or virus protection on a recurring basis. If you don't have this automatic upgrade feature, make sure you update your spyware and virus detection programs daily, as well as whenever you hear of a new computer threat.
  • Attachments: Don't open attachments or other downloads unless you're sure that you can trust the source. Learn how to manually screen downloads and attachments if your anti-virus software doesn't automatically do so.
  • Avoid unused software programs: Do not clutter your computer with unnecessary software programs. If you have programs on your computer that you do not use, consider uninstalling them.
  • Establish guidelines for computer use: If there are multiple people using your computer, especially children, make sure they understand how to use the computer and Internet safely. Setting boundaries and guidelines will help to protect your data.
  • Contact your ISP: Your Internet service provider (ISP) may have more recommendations and technical support for protecting your identity and computer while online. Contact your ISP for recommendations specific to your computer and network.