DO keep antivirus software installed and updated on your computer. Although some viruses and malware can sneak past some programs, the majority of them don’t.
DON’T click on any links from emails, instant messages, Facebook, etc., even if you know the person who sent it. Their machine may be infected and sending out fake messages to spread the virus/malware.
DO regularly update your operating system with the latest security updates. Most Microsoft systems will do this automatically, however, you may have to approve the installation of the security updates. If you get a pop up you are unsure is a real update, just click START—WINDOWS UPDATE to manually run the update process.
DON’T use peer to peer sharing software programs like Limewire, Bittorrent, etc. Not only is downloading and sharing programs and music illegal, a lot of those files have viruses hidden inside of them. Some peer to peer sharing software is actually malware in disguise.
DO run regular virus and malware scans of your computer. Your antivirus software will probably do this automatically. You may also want to install an additional spyware/malware scanning program. We recommend Malwarebytes (free on www.downloads.com).
DON’T visit questionable websites. An obvious culprit are porn sites, but other ones may include sites offering “warez” (free cracked software), foreign sites (unless you can really read what you are clicking on) and even some popular children’s sites (lots of those kid’s sites require them to download special players and programs to play the free games, installing spyware and malware at the same time).
DO perform a registry scan on a normal basis. The registry is like the key to a map. It holds all the information about everything on your computer, from where files are saved, how programs run, etc. Some viruses and malware will make changes to the registry which can cause many problems. There are several free programs out there. We like Ccleaner (free on www.downloads.com). It is easy to use and very affective.
DON’T think that to clean a virus off your computer, you have to reinstall the entire operating system. This is the first line of defense for some computer professionals and companies, but not inQuo. We can clean 99% of computers without reinstalling Windows.