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The importance of back-ups
Get into the habit of automatically saving the contents of your machine to an external hard drive or to a secure online service. Companies like Mozy, Carbonite or iDrive can be used to back up everyone -- from files to music to photos -- or you can simply invest in an external hard drive and routinely back up all the stuff you can't afford to lose. For Windows users, here's a cheat sheet from Microsoft.
Malicious hacker attacks against Java vulnerabilities have exploded over the last two years. If you don't absolutely need it (chances are you don't!), immediately uninstall Java from your machine. Removing Java significantly reduces the attack surface and save you from all these annoying checked-by-default bundles that Sun tries to sneak onto your computer.
Update Adobe Reader immediately
Adobe Reader is a major target for skilled, organized hacking groups, especially those launching targeted attacks against businesses. The newest versions --Adobe Reader and Acrobat X contains Protected Mode, a sandbox technology that serves as a major deterrent to malicious exploits. Adobe security chief Brad Arkin says the company has not yet been a single piece of malware identified that is effective against a version X install. This is significant. Update immediately. If you still distrust Adobe's software, you may consider switching to an alternative product.