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How to stay safe online with a PC or Mac

Many people think that security begins and ends with antivirus software. I disagree. Of course you should run a well-supported, up-to-date security program—whether you use a PC or a Mac. What else do you need to do? In this gallery and the accompanying blog post, I share the five steps I teach to friends, family members, and clients who want to avoid malware, scareware, phishing sites, and other online scams.
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1 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

When in doubt, stop. Think. Ask for help.

Many people think that security begins and ends with antivirus software. I disagree. Of course you should run a well-supported, up-to-date security program—whether you use a PC or a Mac. What else do you need to do? In this gallery and the accompanying blog post, I share the five steps I teach to friends, family members, and clients who want to avoid malware, scareware, phishing sites, and other online scams.

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2 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Keep Windows up to date

See Ed Bott's full report: Stay safe online: 5 secrets every PC (and Mac) owner should know

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3 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Keep your Mac up to date

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4 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Spam that uses HTML formatting can be tricky

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5 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Microsoft's spam filters force junk mail to display in plain text only

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6 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet
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7 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Learn how to tell a secure site from a standard HTTP connection

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8 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

Digital signatures help you separate legit programs from malware 

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9 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

When in doubt, upload a suspicious file to Virustotal.com

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A file that has been around for a while has a reputation you can check

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11 of 11 Ed Bott/ZDNet

The best passwords are complex and difficult to guess

See Ed Bott's full report: Stay safe online: 5 secrets every PC (and Mac) owner should know

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