Spectrum Internet

How can I protect my computer from viruses and other malicious software?

Taking the following steps can go a long way toward protecting your computer from viruses, spyware, malware, phishing attempts, and other security threats on the Internet.

  • Install the latest updates for your computer's operating system and browsers.
    • If you have a PC, you can go to Windows Update to get the latest versions of the Windows software you need for your operating system. You also can sign up for Microsoft Update. Then you can choose to have the updates downloaded and installed automatically or customize the updates you want updated.
    • If you have a Mac, some versions of the Mac operating system offer a Software Update feature. To access it, click the Apple menu, and select Software Update. If your Mac does not provide this option, you can check for updates at the Apple Support Downloads site.
  • Install antivirus and antispy software.
  • If your operating system offers a firewall, make sure that it is running, or install firewall software.
  • Keep your computer programs updated. Outdated programs on your computer can leave your operating system vulnerable to cyberattacks.
  • If you are using a home network, secure your wireless router. If you have Home Networking, the technician who sets up your network can do this for you.
  • Pay close attention to the pop-up windows that are displayed on your computer. Do not click on a window unless you are sure what the result will be.
  • Do not open email attachments sent to you by someone you do not know. Be cautious about opening any attachments if the email seems uncharacteristic of the sender.

For more information on recovering from viruses, worms, and Trojan horses, as well as other information on securing your computer, visit the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team website at http://us-cert.gov/cas/tips/ST05-006.html.

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Article Number: 5674

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