Protect yourself in Windows 7 by practicing safe computing —after all, the best defense is often a good offense. Consider these safe-computing tips:

  • Windows comes with a built-in antispyware program, Windows Defender, but no antivirus program. You need to buy your own program and pay its subscription fees so that it will keep recognizing the latest viruses.

  • Windows 7 comes with a backup program. For easy backups, buy a portable hard drive, and tell the program to use that drive for backing up your pictures, music, documents, and other important things on your PC.

  • Only open e-mailed attachments that you’re expecting. If you receive something unexpected from a friend, e-mail or phone to see whether he or she really sent you something. A virus may be sending that message from an infected PC.

  • If you receive an e-mail from a financial institution saying that something’s wrong with your account, and you need to fix the problem by clicking the link and entering your name and password, don’t do it. That e-mail came from a fraudster trying to trick you. Ignore it. If you have questions, visit the institution’s Web site by manually typing the link into your Web browser.