Tips to Protecting Your Home PC or Laptop

These days it seems like almost everyone has a desktop PC or laptop in their home, which makes these devices more appealing targets for criminals trying to steal your personal information. It's very important that you protect your computer from different methods criminals may use gain access to your information.

CNN Money has released 5 easy and useful tips that will protect you from being a victim of cyber criminals:

1. Patch and Update:  It's very important to update your programs on a regular basis. Hackers are constantly looking for vulnerabilities in programs, so it's important for your programs to be as updated. If you're a Windows user, you can download updates from You can also get updates for your Mac at

2. Watch Your WiFi:  Be very careful where you use WiFi especially out in public areas. While you think you're connecting to the wireless network of a local business with a strong signal, you might actually be connecting to what's called an "evil twin". When connected to these "evil twins", you're open to having your passwords and other personal information stolen.

3. Back That Up:  More and more important information is being saved on PCs today. We don't always thank about the importance of backing up this information, but computers do break. External hard drives and automated backup software are also not very expensive and generally easy to find. Backing up your important files now will save you a huge headache later.

4. Be Suspicious:  Viruses and worms are often transmitted on things we commonly do while using our computers like checking e-mail and instant messaging. To protect yourself from potentially infecting your PC, you shouldn't open attachments or links from individuals or companies you don't know or trust.

5. Don't Share:  Movies, music, and various other media files are shared frequently by individuals of all ages on the Internet. These files can easily have viruses or worms tacked onto them without the person knowing. Also most file sharing is illegal, so it's best to avoid it altogether.

Source: CNN Money