So you've bought your computer and want to get online? It's not as simple as connect the wire and off you go these day's. The internet is a weird and wonderful place as long as you can control what you do.
That's why you need to protect yourself. These can be done in a number of very simple steps. This article will get you started but you should always try to be smart when your surfing the net!
Step 1: Anti-Virus Scanner
Whether you're connecting to the internet or not, you need an Anti-Virus scanner. Your computer can become infected with "viruses". These are little files or codes that have been written to ruin your computer! That's why they must be stopped!
There are many programs out there that can help, but it's best to trust only the mainstream programs as these are used widely and updated regularly.
AVG Anti-Virus Free
Step 2: Firewall
Ok so your thinking what is a "firewall" sounds scary right? Well it's not really. It is again another line of defence against the number of ways your computer can be attacked. In simple terms it blocks other computers and programs from connecting to you and playing with your stuff. Think of it as an internet wall of fire, where you allow what can pass through.
Software - Again there are many programs available to protect you, Recent Microsoft Windows machines come with Windows Firewall, which can be described as basic at best. We do recommend you go for mainstream again.
Hardware - A firewall can also be included as part of your hardware, like an internet router "that's the box that sits between your pc and the internet line". This is the best and recommended way to have a firewall. As it blocks intruders before it gets to your pc.
Step 3: Be AWARE!!
Simply put watch what you download and accept to save to your PC, sometimes people can send you files in e-mails. They look ok but when you run them they will install something onto your PC and leave you upset and distraught. Always scan something that has been downloaded before opening it and never open/run programs that have been sent in an e-mail from unknown sources.
Step 4: Go for it
That's pretty much it to get you going. If you think something doesn't look right, it probably isn't. Hopefully this will get you going to start with, wait till you find out about spy ware and Trojan's!! Good Luck and Safe Surfing