02 Nov 2011

Users should scan emails, download files legally to keep computer virus-free

Julie Myers, chief information security officer at the University of Rochester, said that while no step is foolproof, using antivirus software and common sense internet security tips can go a long way in keeping a computer safe.

Users should keep their computer's operating system up to date and the firewall enabled to keep unauthorized people from being able to easily break into a computer while online, she said. Another tip is to create strong passwords, which are less likely to be hacked, and download files legally instead of from peer-to-peer networks. She added that scanning emails can be a good way to stay virus-free.

"Viruses can lurk in emails from friends and family," Myers writes. "While you may be fooled about an email that contains a photo you would like to see from a friend, anti-virus software will know the difference."

In public Wi-Fi areas, users should try to keep up internet security by turning off sharing, enabling a firewall and turning off the computer when it is not being used, Lifehacker said. The website said users should also consider a virtual private network to be able to privately browse on a Wi-Fi network.