The internet and email spam provide hackers with potential access routes to your PC and the personal information it holds. There are, of course, software tools that you can download to help you prevent such attacks from being successful. However, you shouldn’t rely on these as a proactive approach is much more effective in the long run.
Luckily, you don’t have to be a computer expert to help protect your PC as some common sense will ensure that you are less likely to fall foul of an attack. Ensuring that your anti-virus protection is running and up-to-date is one of the simplest ways to keep safe. Ensure that your service of choice is set to update automatically and you check manually every so often just for added peace of mind.
When you’re downloading software trials and other applications from the web always try and verify the quality of the site before accepting any software. If a site offers free downloads of an application that you’d usually have to pay for then be wary of what it’s giving you. If it sounds too good to be true then it probably is.
When you do install software make sure you pay attention during the installation process as many, even legitimate, tools will try to install browser add-ons and search toolbars that can open up your PC to attack.
With modern web browsers being so flexible they offer hundreds of plug-ins and extensions that make browsing and using sites easier, but make sure you check them out fully before installing as they can be responsible for opening back doors into your system.
Finally, always make sure you only open attachments or click on links that you can absolutely trust. Most spam filters and anti-virus checkers will catch this sort of thing, but for the ones that do get through it only takes a single click to leave yourself open.