Protecting Your Computer

Safeguarding your computer against viruses and other threats requires diligence on your part. Here are multiple steps to take to protect your computer. 

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  • Install an antivirus program: Using an updated antivirus program is vital. These programs scan for viruses trying to get into your email, operating system or files. Check your antivirus manufacturer's website frequently for updates. 
  • Don't open emails from unfamiliar senders, or attachments you don't recognize: Viruses often are attached to emails and spread as soon as they're opened. It's best not to open any attachment you're not expecting to receive. 
  • Use a pop-up blocker with your browser: Pop-up windows can contain malicious or unsafe code. A pop-up blocker can prevent some or all of these windows from appearing on top of the website you're viewing. 
  • Keep your operating system updated: Look for special security updates available for your operating system that close possible security holes and help prevent viruses and other computer attacks.
  • Use a firewall: Firewalls help alert you to suspicious activity if a virus or worm attempts to connect to your computer. It can also block viruses, worms and hackers from attempting to download potentially harmful programs to your computer. 
  • Use your browser's privacy settings: Be aware of how websites may use your private information and adjust your privacy settings to help prevent fraud and identity theft.
  • Turn on User Account Control (UAC): UAC notifies you when changes will be made to your computer that require administrator-level permission, giving you the opportunity to approve or deny the change. This feature can keep viruses from making unwanted changes. 
  • Clear your internet cache and your browsing history: Most browsers store information about websites you visited and information you provided to those websites. You may want to delete some or all of those sites from your history, especially if you're using a public computer.