Here are some great tips if you find yourself asking the question “What should I be doing to keep my computer safe?”
- Windows Update:
Make sure your Windows updates are running. Windows Update should be set to update your system automatically at a time when you’re usually online. Check it every week by running the “Windows Update” program.
You need a good, updating antivirus (AV) program. If you paid for AV but the subscription has expired, uninstall your old AV and get a good free AV program. You should only be running one AV program at a time, so be sure to uninstall other AV apps before installing AVG. http://free.avg.com/us-en/free-antivirus-download
- Adobe Flash:
If Secunia PSI finds Flash updates, RUN THEM. Unpatched Flash players are a common infection point.
- PDF Reader:
Don’t use Adobe Acrobat, it’s a fairly common way to get malware too. Instead use a free, faster, simpler and safer PDF reader like: http://blog.kowalczyk.info/software/sumatrapdf/free-pdf-reader.html or http://foxitsoftware.com/Secure_PDF_Reader/
Malwarebytes seems to be the most comprehensive. You can get it here: http://www.malwarebytes.org/products/malwarebytes_free
Run it once a month or so.
- Don’t run pirated software you “find” on the internet.
That’s sooo sketchy. Here are some suggestions for legit, free alternatives.
– Microsoft Office: http://www.libreoffice.org/download (or Google Docs)
– Photoshop: http://www.gimp.org/windows/
– Quicken: https://www.mint.com/
– PDF Writing: http://www.cutepdf.com/products/cutepdf/writer.asp