A great many of the nasties that infect a lot of computers brought to us could be avoided with a bit of vigilence and knowing what to look out for.
There is an old saying that "there is no such thing as a free lunch" and in the world of the internet this has never been more true. However the saying should be reworded " If you want to download something for free that should be paid for you are likely to get something that you didn't want". I think that the original is much more catchy but it might take off?
Whilst there is a lot of free, good stuff out there most of the results that search engines like Google display are for fake sites that, whilst you can download the software you were looking for, will also add other, usually mallicous, programs you didn't want to your computer. The best way to avoid these bits of malware is to go directly to the program writers site. But, if that is not possible read everything before cloicking on the install buttons. A lot of malware can be deselected during the installation program of the stuff you actually want.
Even the legitimate updates to Java, Flash player and the likes often automatically add on extra software that can change your browsers home page and add adverts for unneccessary programs. please read every page that appears during these updates. your wallet will thank- you as well as your computer.
If others, who might be less vigilent, use your computer you can prevent them from installing a lot of this type of malware by giving them their own login and making them what is called a 'standard user'. This restricts what they can do on the computer but usually doesn't cause any problems. For details on how to do this and any other advice not covered here, please give us a call.