SIX STEPS TO KEEPING YOUR DATA SAFE The following security tips can help you keep your data safe from an internal malfunction or an external invasion. Use proactive software protection. Anti-malware software is a basic requirement for initial protection on all computers. Install effective virus and spyware protection software to prevent viruses and spyware from creeping into your computer, degrading performance and corrupting or destroying data. Use a firewall to assist in blocking dangerous programs, viruses or spyware before they infiltrate your system. Various software companies offer firewall protection, but hardware-based firewalls, like those frequently built into network routers, provide a better level of security. Be cautious of suspicious e-mails from unknown sources. Don't open e-mails with attachments if you don't know the sender. Stay away from rogue websites that can contain spyware. One way to keep your information safe is to ensure the code prefix https:// starts the URL address when visiting banking sites, entering your credit card data or accessing your e-mail. Keep your operating system up to date by installing any recent updates or fixes.