The following items are security tools that I have loaded on my computer, typically do not take my word for it. You download all at your own risk of course. I can not guarantee how these will operate on your computer nor your level of computer knowledge to use the tools well, however I have found them to be safe, reliable and user friendly.

Advanced System Care Pro

AVG anti-virus software

Avast Antivirus

Adaware spyware software

Sygate Firewall

CCleaner

Mozilla Firefoxbrowser

McAfee Site Advisor

Gmail

Spam Assassin

Then there are the regular tasks that I perform on a weekly or bi-weekly basis:

Open each of your Spyware / Adware programs (Microsoft Defender and Adaware). Run a full scan on each at least once a week.

Open AVG and update plus do a full computer scan every day. It does this automatically at 8am AWST so do it yourself every day if you do not turn on computer before 8am.

Go to Start. Go to Control Panel. Go to Internet Options. Go to General tab. Delete all Cookies. Delete all Temporary files. Do this once a week. If you use Firefox you may also need to manually go to Tools, Options and Privacy plus Advanced to show and clear their cookies, private data and to empty the cache.

Open the CCleaner and click Analyze, then delete those extra files.

Go to Start. Go to Accessories. Go to System Tools. Go to Disc Clean Up. Perform a full disc clean up. Once a week.

Go to Start. Go to Accessories. Go to System Tools. Go to Disc Defragmenter. Perform a full defrag. Once a week.

Back up all your files / folders onto CD's, external drive or a laptop. Once a month at least, depending on the amount of work you do.

For email security, I do the following:

Set your email to be read in Text Only format, For example, in Outlook Express, go to Tools, Options, Read and then check the box that says -Read all messages in plain text-. If you ever want to see a trusted email in HTML format (ie with pretty pictures!) Then while any email is open, simply click on View and then click on Message in HTML (or hold down Alt + Shift while keying the letter -H -) and it will show you the fuller version of that email message.

Go to View, Layout and uncheck the box that says Show Preview Pane. This way emails do not open in full until you click them open. You then get to decide which are opened.

Close an email and delete its highlighted line, rather than the open email. If you delete an open email, then the next email in the queue will automatically open. It may be one that you do not want to open automatically!

To confirm an email address of sender, simply right click the email before opening and click on Properties to see the email address. Most times you can pick a weird one before you choose to open it! I have a column in my email reader that lists the address of the sender, so I can see it before I decide to open.

I have also created folders and sub-folders for the regular and trusted mail. That way, I know if any email lands in a folder, it is from someone with what I have already communicated.

Note: Create a system restore point always before downloading anything new or deleting anything old. Do this by going to Start, Programs, Accessories, System Restore. That way if you ever want to undo anything, you simply go there and do a system restore to the last point that you created.

So far all these tools and actions have done me well. I do hope that they are also of help to one of you.

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