Patches and updates

To prevent infection or compromise, you must download and install security updates and patches as and when they become available. Secunia provides a program that scans your installed software, flags vulnerabilities and provides instructions for fixing those vulnerabilities - download the Secunia Personal Software Inspector (PSI) for installation on your home computer.

Microsoft and Windows security patches and updates

Install all available security updates for Windows from Microsoft's updates page (you must be running a recent version of Internet Explorer to install updates from this Microsoft page). The easiest way to install critical updates is to configure Automatic Updates.

Follow the relevant link to find out how to ensure that Automatic Updates is enabled:

Anti-virus, firewall and anti-spyware updates

Depending on what software you are using, updates will either be installed automatically or you will have to manually download updates. Find out what each program requires and if a manual update is required, then do this at least once a week.

Plugins and scripts