So have you bought a new computer at home for yourself and for your kids? Your computer is sure going to be useful to you and your family. You can now use your computer to store important data, work on reports and much much more. Your children can now surf the internet, play games and learn new tools and software programs. By purchasing a computer you open the world to the big bad world of the internet. Why is the internet a big bad world? The internet can prove to be a big bad world for you if you don’t take care to protect your computer from internet threats. In fact the internet is the most comprehensive source of information available at the click of the button today. You can search for diverse topics. You can use the internet to access your bank accounts, to join newsgroups, to entertain yourselves, listen to music and even watch movies. You can even use the internet to speak to people at low costs through VOIP (Voice over Transmission Protocol) all over the world. There are very few boundaries associated with the internet.

But, you should be wary of all the threats that the internet can invite to your computer. First of all let’s talk a little about computer viruses. A computer virus is a software program written by a person which can prove to be a threat to the security of your computer. It gains access to your computer through programs downloaded from the internet and even from seemingly harmless emails. It can delete all your important files after it loads itself on the system or it can just make your hard disk unusable. It can disable your important device drivers and can do hundreds of other damaging things to your computer. The software program (or computer virus) spreads rapidly through the internet and can invade thousands of computers a minute.

The best solution against virus invasion is the installation of good antivirus software. Norton Antivirus by Symantec proves to be one of the better paid antivirus solutions. It provides tight security in comparison to some of the other antivirus softwares and also updates itself regularly. The other important software you can use to protect your computer is installing a firewall. A firewall restricts unauthorized access to your computer by people on the internet who are constantly on the lookout for open ports on computers. In addition, if you use the internet to make purchases with your credit card, make sure you are using a trusted and secure site. Secured sites conduct financial transactions using secure software like Verisign so that your private information cannot be viewed by unauthorized people.

When using services or programs that use passwords, always use passwords that are difficult to guess by others. Do not ever open unauthorized emails as they might be harmful to your computer. Unauthorized or unsolicited mails are the most common path to spreads a virus through the internet.

When you visit some sites, a spyware program maybe installed on your computer automatically by those sites. A spyware program is a program that collects all information on your computer including private information that can then be made known to unauthorized people. Using an anti-spyware program like Spyware Blocker or Ad-Aware comes in handy. These programs work to prevent spyware from automatically installing on your computer in the first place. You must also delete your cookies regularly. A cookie is a small file that is automatically installed on your computer and it accesses the information on your computer including the web sites that you have visited and sends all information back to people who need access to that information.

If you use a little care, you can provide some protection to you and your computer. However, the only way to completely eliminate any threats is not to go online in the first place. I don’t think that is a viable option in today’s world. Good luck!