The 10 Commandments of Computer Safety
1. Don't get stressed, take a deep breath and relax, computers are not difficult and there’s no need to be frightened of them.
2. Use a reliable antivirus program. I suggest AVG the free version is more than enough for most people.
3. Use a good Anti-Mal-Ware (malicious software) program. I suggest Malwarebytes.org, it’s free but does require you to run scans manually.
4. Do not open e-mails coming from unknown or untrusted sources. Many viruses spread via e-mail messages check carefully that you know the sender if you are in any doubt delete the message.
5. Do not open the attachments of messages with suspicious or unexpected subjects. If you want to open them, first save them to your hard disk and scan them with your antivirus program.
6. Delete any chain e-mails or unwanted messages. Do not forward them or reply to their senders. This kind of messages is considered spam, because it is undesired and unsolicited and it overloads the Internet traffic. The most common type is the “Worst virus ever” message “Microsoft and Norton say it will destroy your hard drive” – Always delete these messages and do not pass them on.
7. Avoid installing software and utilities which are not needed. Many promise to speed up your computer or give you pretty smiley faces, toolbars that want to add themselves to Internet explorer or Firefox. Such programs are potential hazards, and should not be installed if not absolutely necessary.
8. Update your system and applications as often as possible. Some operating systems and applications can be set to update automatically. Make full use of this facility. Failure to patch your system often enough may leave it vulnerable to threats for which fixes already exist. Most important are Windows Update, Adobe Flash and Adobe Acrobat, and Java.
9. Do not download illegally – France has powerful anti-piracy laws if you are caught you get a warning email from your internet provider, them a written letter, if caught again your internet will be cut off for 1 year for the whole household. There are lots of legal places to download or stream music, videos and software.
10. Make backups of important personal files (correspondence, documents, pictures and such) on a regular basis. Store these copies on removable media such as CD or DVD or an external hard drive. Keep your backups in a different location from your computer. Consider online backup like Carbonite.com or sugersync.com these service are very easy as you never have to remember to do the backup and it’s available from anywhere in case you ever need it.