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 keep the criminals out. Ensure that all of yours are strong & unique:
- Use a minimum of 8 characters;
- Be as random as possible;
- Use different passwords on each web site.
Coming up with passwords that are strong & easy to remember is easier than you might think!
3) Keep your software updated
One of the main ways you can avoid being infected with a virus is to keep your computer software up to date.
This doesn't mean having to constantly buy the latest & greatest software, but simply ensuring that your computer is set to automatically download updates from the software manufacturers. 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 steal our passwords or which spread viruses, or other 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.