The following is a list of tips on how NOT to get a virus on your PC. These are just tips that I have learned over the past few years from helping family and friends with computer troubleshooting.
1)Do not go to adult sites: This is, in my opinion, one of the easiest and quickest ways to get a virus or spyware.
2) Do not use P2P sites (like Kazaa or Limewire): For 2 reasons, its illegal and it’s the easiest way for some idiot to post a file called music.wma which may actually be a virus after you download it. Don’t take any chances, stay away from P2P sites.
3) Install a browser toolbar with a pop-up blocker: Although some web browsers have built-in pop blockers, its an added benefit to install a 2nd one because somehow, some pop-ups still get through.
4) Install anti-virus software: This is obvious, but so many people ignore it. If money is an issue, then just use AVG which is free. I use it on one of my PCs and it works great. It is not memory intensive and it scans daily in the background. If you were going to purchase one, stick with Norton. I’ve used them for over 5 yrs (3 different PCs) and rarely did I have any issues.
5) Keep antivirus software up to date: Another obvious one…..what good is anti-virus software if its outdated? If you purchased your AV software, make sure to renew it each time it expires.
6) Use a hardware firewall like a Linksys router: Never connect your PC or laptop directly to the DSL or cable modem! This is like leaving the front door to your house unlocked. Hackers attempt all day long to break into computers….don’t make it easy for them. Purchase a router. It will hide your PC from the Internet and then at least the hackers will have to attempt to hack through the router first (yes, this does happen to but unless the hacker is a pro, it will not happen).
7) Use built-in Windows XP/Vista firewall if you can not purchase a router yet: Next best option….still blocks most things by default.
8) Use Windows defender or Ad-Aware from Lavasoft to keep spyware/malware away: Ad-Aware is the best spyware remover that I have used. I use it at work and at home. There are multiple versions but the free version has always worked fine.
Following the above general tips should help you continue to stay virus and spyware free. Good luck!