Do you practise safe computing?

Will Head Contributor

With news that malware makers are now actively targeting Mac owners, it's enough to make you want to wrap your computer in tin foil, disconnect from the internet and hide yourself in a cupboard like Joe from EastEnders. But it's not all bad news - here are five easy ways to reduce the risk of catching something nasty.

Don't install hokey software

Just like in life, the number one way to pick up an infection is by doing something dodgy with someone you don't know very well. Download software from unofficial sources and you never know if it comes with some added extras you'd rather not have living on your machine.

Keep up to date

Software is a work in progress and new security holes appear all the time. Whether you're running Mac or PC, make sure your OS is up to date to avoid leaving any back doors open.

Load up on free AV

There's free antivirus software out there, so you might as well use it. Windows users can get AVG Free for nowt while OS X fans can grab a copy of ClamXav instead.

Fire up your firewall

Most threats are now likely to come to you from the internet, so make sure you've turned on the built in firewall that comes with both Windows and OS X to keep your ports locked down - it's free and included after all.

Be careful with USB keys

It used to be floppy discs that were the main carriers of viruses, but malware writers have moved with the times and are now targeting USB keys. Until we can all beam files wirelessly think twice about who you're sharing ports with.

(image by Nils Geylen)


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