If you’re going to use your computer to send personal information and details, make sure you are doing your best to prevent bad guys from knowing what you are doing.
You have to put anti-spyware and anti-virus software on your computer.
You don’t have to purchase software. There are a few really good free programs you can use. But you have to make sure that you have a good program installed and activated.
Most anti-virus software will automatically stay updated, but you may have to manually keep other programs updated to remain secure. These updates will come from Microsoft or Apple, Adobe (Flash and Shockwave) and Oracle (Java). Just make a point to do it.
And be sure to regularly scan your computer to look for malware and viruses. Most software will regularly and automatically do this, but your computer will have to be turned on for these scans to actually take place.
If your computer is off a lot of the time, you may have to manually start these scans.
You also need to watch where you are browsing on the Web.
Be careful when visiting websites that you haven’t visited before, especially if you’re going to adult sites or they deal with something that is either illegal or almost illegal in the USA.
Some bad websites will attempt to install adware or spyware on your computer. Good virus protection software will usually help to warn you and stop the program from installing on your computer, but the bad guys are getting smarter all the time, so you just have to be on guard.