Your computer is home to hundreds -- if not thousands -- of important files, documents and pictures. Business files, account information, taxes and precious family memories are all stored on your hard drive, but one wrong move and everything could be compromised.  We’re talking about viruses (and not the simple to get rid of, sniffling, sneezing human kind). The kind that sneak up on you and threaten the safety and permanence of your entire hard drive.

What steps can you take to avoid these stubborn annoyances that seem to be getting sneakier and more sophisticated every day?

Install quality antivirus software.

You can try free antivirus software, but it isn’t going to do the job.  If there is one area of your digital life in which you need to invest, it's here. Think of antivirus software like car insurance: you wouldn’t grab the cheapest policy to protect such an important part of your life, would you? No! So why do the same with your computer?

We recommend installing professional-grade or business-grade antivirus software onto your computer. These types update frequently throughout the day, acting as a proactive shield against any potential threats. They also protect you from a wider range of threats and come with additional protective features that you may not even think about or know you need. Make sure you keep this software current!

Scan daily. 

Not every other day, not weekly and definitely not monthly. When we say scan daily, we really do mean scan daily. On rare occasions, spyware and viruses can sneak past your software. Performing additional scans will catch these before you encounter any problems.  Daily scans can be an invaluable way to protect your computer and all of your files.

Think before you click.

Oh look, an email from an unknown sender with a link to a cool new product!  You should click on that link, right? Wrong! Oh, but what about this email from my best friend with a link to an article I want to read? I can click that, right? Wrong again.

Always, always, always scan emails for viruses before clicking the links or attachments.  We cannot stress how important this truly is. In fact, when at all possible, you should manually navigate to the sites at hand instead of clicking on the links. Even if you scan, it’s hard to be 100 percent certain that the link is completely safe.

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