The security of your computer can affect the safety of your online experience — and your kid's. Malware is software that monitors or controls your computer use, can install viruses, or can be used to send unwanted pop-up ads, redirect your computer to websites you're not looking for, or record your keystrokes. Malware on your computer could allow someone to steal your family's personal information.
What can you do?
Use security software, and update it regularly.
Anti-virus and anti-spyware software scan incoming communications for troublesome files; a firewall blocks communications from unauthorized sources. Look for software that can reverse the damage and that updates automatically.
Keep your operating system and web browser up-to-date, and learn about their security features.
Hackers take advantage of operating system software and browsers that don't have the latest security updates. Increase the security of your computer by changing the built-in security and privacy settings in your operating system or browser. Check the "Tools" or "Options" menus to learn how to upgrade from the default settings.
Watch out for "free" stuff.
Free games, ring tones, or other downloads can hide malware. Tell your kids not to download anything unless they trust the source and they've scanned it with security software.