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Software programs may seem harmless, but can install a virus without your consent. Here are some tips to follow when downloading a program.

Be Wary of Unknown Publishers

Use caution when downloading programs from publishers you don't know, but use extra caution when downloading programs from an unknown publisher not listed. When the warning pops up, if it says unknown publisher, its most likely a scam.

Keep Antivirus Software Up-to-Date

You should check for new definition updates daily. Most antivirus software, such as Comodo and Norton can be configured to do this automatically.

Install security patches

Vulnerabilities in software are constantly being discovered, and they aren't just for one operating system. A vulnerability found in Windows software could just as easily be dangerous for OS X and Linux users. At least once a week, check and apply updates for all software that you use.

Firewalls are important

No Internet connection is safe without one. Even if you have a dial-up Internet connection, firewalls are still vital for your computer's security.

Are you using a secured browser?

Is Internet Explorer a bad browser? Yes. Is it the only unsafe one? Most definitely not. It's not the browser you should be concerned, as the program being downloaded via IE could easily be as dangerous as one downloaded via Firefox or Chrome. It's not a matter of avoiding certain types of website. Legitimate websites, such as Google and Microsoft, are frequently being compromised and implanted with malicious JavaScript code that makes its way onto visitors' computers. Its recommended that JavaScript be disabled for all but the most essential websites, such as your banking site.

Be Cautious of Phishing Scams

Phishing is the act of claiming to be your bank or credit card company, and scare you into revealing personal information, leading to credit loss, money theft, or even identity theft. It's a phishing scam when the PayPal note says "Dear Valued User" instead of "Dear NAME". Look for signs of phishing scams.

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