You don’t run anti-virus software? Your anti-virus software isn’t up to date? I’m surprised how many people answer, “No.” They are willing to invest hundreds of dollars on a computer, but then won't spend a few extra bucks to protect it.
First of all, don't leave your computer on 24/7 and second, make sure you install an anti-virus and keep it up to date!
Do not download free installable programs unless they are from a legitimate source and avoid pirated software. While free music, books, etc. beats paying for them, in the long run you will be better off not trying to save a few dollars by trying to get them free. Other suggestions are to change your passwords frequently and NEVER store them on your computer. Financial records should be stored on a flash drive...they're cheap. Also, never pay bills or conduct financial business on a public computer like at a book store or library. That seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of people do it. And, while I'm at it, you should NEVER view porn on your computer. I'm against it for moral reason, but even if you're not, I know a few people who picked up some ugly computer viruses doing it. It even happened on my job. Somebody took a peek at some porn on their company computer and the virus infected the server and everybody in the office got it. It drove the IT guy nuts trying to get rid of it. Don't do it!!
For years I ran Norton, but evidently it’s a target for hackers to bypass. Some time back, my 10-year old nephew was playing a game on my laptop and picked up a virus. I later discovered this had happened to several people. Norton failed to block the virus and when trying to contact them I found it difficult. The Web is jam-packed with addresses and phone numbers claiming to be Norton, but they aren’t. I ended up making a toll free call to India and when I became suspicious they were NOT from Norton and began asking questions, the lady hung up on me. I ended up taking the laptop to Best Buy where I discovered the clerk at the computer counter had picked up the same virus when her kid was playing an online game. It cost me $100 to get the computer fixed and Best Buy installed Web Root anti-virus software which is what they recommend.
But, if you are looking for free, then AVG is good. I have posted on it HERE.
Another good program is Microsoft Security Essentials. Download HERE.
MSE is free and guards against viruses, spyware and other malicious stuff. It’s simple and easy to install and updates are automatic.