The Internet is a powerful resource that has changed how we research information and interact with one another. Sadly, as many of you are no doubt aware there are threats out there that put our computers at risk.
A Firewall is really the first line of defence, designed to prevent unauthorised and unwanted access to your computer from the internet. With Firewalls you are able to configure who or what is able to gain full access to your computer.
Windows does have a built-in Firewall, however we recommend installing something a little more robust.
Need a Free Firewall? Try Comodo
A good Anti Virus will detect and remove software that poses a threat to your computer, before it can do damage to files and settings. They can also detect existing threats should you be installing for the first time on an infected machine.
Need a Free Anti Virus? Try Avast!
The Firewall and Anti Virus are designed to work alongside each other, actively shielding your computer from external threats and deleting infected files from your computer.
Web Browsers have gotten smarter and now have some built-in functionality that can help protect your computer such as pop-up blockers. Older Browser versions are also less secure. Therefore it is important to upgrade to the latest version of your Web Browser!
Google Chrome and Firefox all support Browser Extensions (sometimes called Add-Ons) that can be useful in detecting threats.
For example if you install the Avast Anti Virus you will be asked if you'd like to enable the Avast Browser Plug-in. Now Avast will be able to show you if a search engine link is safe to click and will even block threats that try and download to your computer without permission!
No Anti Virus or Firewall will protect you completely, which is why we recommend users install MalwareBytes too!
Occasionally it's good to run MalwareBytes just to ensure that your Anti Virus hasn't missed anything.
Finally browser sensibly, download carefully and be sure to install the latest updates and security patches for all software on your computer.