9 Tips to Keep Your PC Safe

Use Antivirus Software

  • Be careful with free software. Make sure it is reputable and widely used before downloading.
  • Keep your antivirus up to date.
  • Make sure your antivirus has an "active" scanning feature.

Use a Firewall

  • Make sure your OS firewall is always on.
  • Never allow a program you are unfamiliar with through your firewall.

Secure Your Browser

  • "Dangerous" sites are not the only danger. Even the most popular sites come under attack.
  • Make sure your browser is up to date.
  • Consider an antivirus that includes "safe web surfing" features.

Protect Your Email Inbox

  • Scan attachments with antivirus; never open an email from someone you don't know.
  • Some scammers try to spoof your friend's name. If you didn't expect an attachment from them, don't open it.
  • Keep abreast of internet scams. Be wary of sad stories, unsolicited job offfers, lotto winnings, or sites asking for your information.
  • Use webmail services to keep files off your PC. If you use a desktop email program,make sure it does not automatically download emails and attachments.

Treat Instant Messaging (IM) Suspiciously

  • IM programs are frequent targets of viruses. Be hesitant to open links in IM programs, unless you are sure of who you are chatting with.

Avoid Filesharing Programs and Sites

  • There are lots of free Filesharing networks, and all are laden with viruses and malware. Avoid these programs and sites like the plague.

Don't Fall Victim to Hoaxes

  • Be wary of false threats that could cause you to delete legitimate files from your system.
  • Never open, download, or click OK on a security program you do not recognize. Many viruses masquerade as antivirus. Only trust what you already have installed.

Install the Latest Security Updates

  • Updating your Operating System (Windows, Mac) and all your software keeps your software safer.

Use Common Sense

  • If you've never heard of it before, or are unsure of anything, don't click it or download it.

For more tips on Cyber Security, visit http://www.us-cert.gov/cas/tips/