A few simple measures can minimize the risks associated with malicious behaviour and human errors.
Always keep a backup copy of your data in safe and secure location that has limited access to others. This reduces the possibility of theft or tampering.
Many operating systems allow you to encrypt data at the drive-level. This means that the entire drive is encrypted automatically and unauthorised users cannot access data even if they remove the hard drive and attach it to another computer.Some systems also allow data stored on external devices, such as USB drives to be encrypted.
Antivirus and anti-spyware programs can check for viruses and spyware in the computer’s memory and prevent new infections from occurring. Software should be updated regularly to allow it to recognise new viruses and spyware. Many antivirus and anti-spyware programs can update themselves automatically.
Several good anti-virus programs are available free of charge. This YouTube video reviews 5 of them and shows you how to install them.
E-mail software normally allows you to block junk e-mail messages and check incoming messages for viruses and worms.
Installing a firewall is another way of protecting your computer against threats. A firewall filters Internet traffic before it reaches your computer and gives additional protection against hackers and viruses. It also helps ensure computer privacy by restricting external access by unauthorised users. Many operating systems include a basic firewall.
This YouTube video from BBC Webwise gives a good overview of firewalls.
Next: Computer Security Quiz