What should I do to protect my personal computer?

Your computer has the potential to become the target of an attack by a criminal hacker. Their goal might be to capture your personal information, use your machine to attack others or it could even be used to store illegal data. Here's what you can do to help protect yourself and minimize the risks:

  • Keep your system and software up-to-date and only download patches, upgrades, new releases, applications or other files from trustworthy sites.
  • Install anti-spam, anti-virus and spyware software, and keep those up to date with the vendor's latest patches and signature files.
  • If possible, configure your computer to run the 'automatic updates' option.
  • Your broadband router or home PC may be able to run a powerful security tool called a firewall. A firewall restricts external access to your computer. They can be complicated and require some time to set up, but are well worth it.
  • Be cautious when you click on links within emails or web pages. Bear in mind, they could be fake and lead to harmful web pages.
  • Read pop-up messages carefully and don't automatically choose 'yes' or 'ok'.
  • Try to avoid using public computer access points like those at Internet Cafés for access to your Betfair account, or to any of your sensitive on-line systems, such as banking or shopping.
  • Visit http://www.getsafeonline.org/ for more useful tips.

Knowledge is the key to protecting yourself online. Common dangers include Trojans, SpywareAdware and Phishing. All of these can contribute to fraud and identity theft.