1) Install antivirus
Computer viruses can be incredibly damaging, destroying precious files and photos or stealing our money.
Avoiding them however can be quite simple - a great way to start is by installing antivirus software to keep watch for anything malicious on your computer.
2) Use strong & unique passwords
Passwords are just like keys - they lock our accounts & keep criminals out. Make sure all your passwords are strong & unique:
- Use a minimum of 8 characters;
- Be as random as possible;
- Use different passwords on each web site.
Thinking of passwords that are strong & easy to remember (even across different websites) is easier than you may think!
3) Keep your software updated
One of the main ways to avoid catching viruses is to keep your computer software up to date.
This doesn't mean constantly buying new software, but simply setting your computer to automatically download updates as they're released. You should only need to check this once.
4) Learn to recognise scams
Scams are as old as the human race; computers have just brought us many more new variations.
Whether it's phishing emails that try to spread viruses or steal our passwords, or scams that try to fool us out of our money, it's crucial we know how to spot them.
Computers can't always defend us against these scams - we need to learn to help ourselves.
5) Add a "second factor" to your logins
Having a strong password is fundamental to keeping hackers out of your accounts. But sadly it doesn't protect against all types of attack.
That's why making your accounts require a second piece of information (often a code sent to your phone) is a good idea - it makes your accounts so much harder for hackers to break into.