1. Use anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
  2. Don’t open e-mails or attachments from unknown sources. Be suspicious of any unexpected e-mail attachments even if it appears to be from someone you know.
  3. Protect your computer from Internet intruders — use a firewall.
  4. Regularly download security updates and “patches” for your operating systems and other software.
  5. Use hard-to-guess passwords. Mix uppercase, lowercase, numbers, or other characters not easy to find in a dictionary, and make sure they are at least eight characters long.
  6. Back up your computer data on disks or CDs regularly.
  7. Don’t share access to your computers with strangers. Learn about file sharing risks.
  8. Disconnect from the Internet when not in use.
  9. Check your security on a regular basis. When you change your clocks for daylight-savings time, reevaluate your computer security.
  10. Make sure your family members/computer users know what to do if your computer becomes infected.
The key to success is the right combination of common sense and technology

What Makes an Anti-Virus Solution Great?

Here is a list of the best attributes of anti-virus software according to Anti-Virus Software Review.

Ease of Use How easy is it to install the software? To go from installation to scanning for infected files?

Effective Identification of Viruses and Worms Does it quickly identify infected files with a real-time scanner no matter how the file arrived (via e-mail, IM, Web browsing, etc.)?

Effective Cleaning or Isolating of Infected Files Does the product thoroughly clean, delete, or quarantine the infected file to stop the spread of the virus?

Activity Reporting Can you view what on-demand scans found and what they did with any infected files? Are you notified immediately with real-time scanning?

Rich Feature Set What type of scanning engines are used? Real-time scanning only? Or scheduled also? Are features easy to access and understand?

Ease of Installation and Setup How easy is it to install the software? To go from installation to scanning?

Help Documentation Is there a help document available? Is it useful? Easy to understand? Can you get answers easily?

With the right anti-virus software such as AVG , which has all the attributes identified plus regular virus updates, you can be confident that your computer and files are protected.