Secure your computer

Some security measures you should take to protect yourself on line
If you don't understand some of the terms use the links on the main page such as Webopedia and Whatis.com. It is important to learn this stuff.

The software is free below, but it may not suit you or your computer there is plenty of free software on the net. Just go to http://tucows.com/ or http://download.com.com for lots of free stuff.

Hackers can get into your computer and do a lot of damage. You need a firewall. A firewall lets you get out on the net but makes it very difficult for hackers to get in.

Check here to see if your computer is secure. Especially http://www.grc.com/

Spyware can be just tracking what sites you visit to recording passwords and bank details. Spyware often gets on your computer because of the increasing use of file sharing programs like Kazaa and other programs used to share music and other files.
Both of these together do a great job.
http://www.lavasoftusa.com/
a free spyware killer

http://spybot-spyware.com/
a free spyware killer

You will also need a virus killer. Some virus checkers just check and kill viruses you need to get one that kills Trojans and worms. If not get separate software.
Here is a good one.
AVG Anti Viurs Checker
Make sure you get regular updates

Update patches
If you use windows you may be aware that hackers always target Microsoft products. So go to tools in your browser (explorer) and select windows update. Do this every few days and download all critical upgrades.

Perhaps more importantly take care who you talk to on the net. Never give out your real name or any personal details.

What is a Virus?
Viruses are self-executing, self-replicating programs. They alter the way a computer operates without the knowledge or permission of the user. When activated, viruses may damage files, cause erratic system behavior, or display annoying messages. The ability to self-replicate differentiates viruses from Trojan horses, worms, and other virus-like programs.

What Is A Worm?
A worm is a self-replicating virus that does not alter files but resides in active memory and duplicates itself. Worms use parts of an operating system that are automatic and usually invisible to the user. It is common for worms to be noticed only when their uncontrolled replication consumes system resources, slowing or halting other tasks.

What Is A Trojan Horse?
Trojan horses are malicious programs disguised as something benign. They've been known to pose as games, utilities, and email attachments. Once opened, Trojan horses act much differently than you expect. Some merely annoy, sending emails to everyone in your address book. Others do serious damage, to the point of stealing passwords and data files. Unlike viruses, Trojan horses are not self-replicating.

Active Trojan horses are an advanced type of Trojan horse. They use unprotected ports to open lines of communication with your computer, and they can ultimately give hackers control over your machine. Active Trojan horses are also called Remote Access Trojans.

Check for viruses, spyware and maleware on line at online security threats and learn how to make your computer more secure.

General security stuff @ Microsoft but it is still a good introduction.

Speed up your computer.