I am always asked by friends and family who have “unknowingly” obtained a nasty bug and my first question is always, “What did you last install?” Ha! Don”t shrug your shoulders. If you can”t remember what you are installing on your computer, then you shouldn”t be installing anything on your computer. Screensaver packages, background wallpaper generators and unmonitored free software (in general) are breeding grounds for new malicious software creators. This leads me to my next point!
How do I research software? Google it. Again, no search results means pass by this software. Special cases include you knowing the person, or team who developed the site.
You can also help in building trust with your friends and family by not forwarding Spam. For example, other people”s ideas on “How to prevent a heart attack by coughing” or “Skyway to Heaven“(untrue explanation of Disney ride) are considered Spam. Do you ever wonder why some people never reply to these? Because they don”t read them. Help all your friends, including me, by sending only pertinent messages that you expect replies to. If you are the one forwarding me emails with “FW:FW>>>FW:FW:” in the subject line I will not open. Matter of fact, the priority in which I open and respond in has now sent you to the bottom. I understand you are trying to help. I understand you want to help others but by forwarding false information you are lowering your value as an email contact and this could cause issues in the future.
Be careful to take your time to make decisions that could penetrate your computer. This simulated action is going around fast because it states you must make a decision or your computer will be no good anymore. That is simply not true.
Some of these are basic ideas that can help even a novice computer user. You need to be the responsible one in the relationship. The computer will not install a virus or download a malware program by itself. Understanding that you are the gatekeeper can be a powerful tool in helping you navigate web.
Good luck out there!