By taking the following safety-steps, you can fully protect your computer and help reduce the risk of your computer being infected by unwanted viruses.
1. Make full use of the Microsoft Windows Security Center, and keep you computer up-to-date. Ensure that the security features are turned on. Windows Security Center provides the following:
2. Make full use of Microsoft's automatic updates from Microsoft Update. This will ensure that your computer is up to date with current file definitions.
3. If you do not want to pay for Anti Virus software, there are many highly effective free versions such as Avira's Free AntiVirus Scanning software.
4. Subscribe to Microsoft's Windows Live OneCare program. This is a 24-hour protection and maintenance service that any Windows user can subscribe to. This service helps to protect and maintain your computer by providing complete functionality including firewall protection, virus scanning, PC performance tune-ups, file back-ups, restore capabilities and antispyware protection. Windows Live OneCare is so confident of their dedicated service that they also provide a free 3 month trial.
5. Ensure that your virus scanner is up-to-date. Most virus scanners have daily updates of new virus definitions to ensure that you are 100% current.
6. Perform a virus scan. Most people do not run virus scans often enough.
7. Ensure that all your downloads are only downloaded from trusted sites. As a general rule, you should only download files from well-trusted sites and companies. A great example would be download.com.
As an extra precaution, you should run a full virus-scan on all files that you download that you are not 100% sure about.
8. Only install programs from authentic CD's.
9. Make regular back-ups of all your data. If a virus corrupts or erases your valuable data, you can always refer to your back-ups to restore any important data. Be sure to back-up all files that you cannot afford to lose.