Eddie Cochran once had a hit with a song called 3 Steps to Heaven. Step one, as you may or may not recall, was to find someone to love, step two was for that someone to fall in love with you and step three was to kiss and hold her tightly, which is not a bad idea at all 🙂
If you want to love your computer and avoid the terrifying trojans out there which can cause you to lose control of your own machine, then there are also three steps to heaven:
Update Windows, or just as importantly, allow Windows to update itself. Normally, there an icon in the bottom right hand side of the screen. For Windows XP it’s a yellow shield with an exclamation mark in it and for Vista and Windows 7 it’s a turquoise coloured rectangle. Double click on any of these icons to start the update process. This is important as most updates are issued by Microsoft as a reponse to the latest security problems.
Make sure you have an anti-virus (AV) program installed – in my opinion, free AV is just as effective as paid AV. Whatever version you have, make sure it is up to date, by allowing updates in a similar fashion to Step one.
Use a specialised anti-spyware program, update it and run it yourself on a regular basis. Two such programs stand out: SuperAntiSpyware and Malwarebytes Antimalware, both silly names, both great programs. This is the most important step as only these programs will catch the bugs most AV programs miss. An excellent guide to using Malwarebytes is here.
If you follow these steps, you can ramble through the Internet without a care in the world, and as Eddie would sing, ‘That sure sounds like Heaven to me’. Email me if you have any questions about this.