Firewall + antivirus software
The internet can be a dangerous place. Before you connect your computer to the internet, be sure to follow our recommendations on how to protect your PC from harm.
Before connecting your computer to the internet and exposing your computer to the dangers of the internet, you should set up the default Windows Firewall. If you have Windows XP, Vista, or Windows 7, then your operating system comes with a firewall by default. If you’ve never configured this firewall before, then don’t worry: it should be on by default
To double check your Windows Firewall’s security status, open the Security panel, which can be found under the Control Panel on your Start menu.
Of course, if you’d prefer to use a different firewall, then that’s an option too. Many antivirus programs come with their own firewalls built in. As long as your computer has some sort of firewall protection, you’ll be able to safely connect to the internet.
Backup your PC with system restore
Another effective way to protect your computer is to use system restore, which allows you to restore your PC to an earlier point in time. This effectively removes any changes you may have made since that point in time, but it’s a lot easier to use a system restore point than it is to completely wipe out your hard drive.
To access system restore, go to your System Tools folder, which can be found in the Accessories folder under the Start menu. Once you start the application, you can choose to create a new system restore point or backup to an earlier version. If you know your computer is safe and secure right now, then it’s a good idea to create a system restore point. In fact, it might be a good idea to create a new system restore point on the first day you start up your computer, and then periodically from that point forward. That way, you always have a healthy point to which you can backup.