For the best security, follow these rules:
- Edit your hosts file!
- Use Google Chrome!
- Never download from unknown or suspicious sources!
- Never use pirated software!
- Always have your firewall turned on!
This rule only applies to Windows systems. You can download the Ultimate Hosts File and learn how to edit your Windows hosts file here.
If you use Google Chrome, you should be fairly safe against most web-based attacks. If you absolutely must use Firefox, install the AdBlock+ and NoScript add-ons. NoScript should be told to allow all scripts from getlives.com!
Other browsers people normally use include Opera and Internet Explorer (IE). IE is terrible but comes installed as part of Windows. Opera has a nice interface, but it has poor security and renders pages very slowly. Firefox 4 will have an interface similar to Opera.
In Internet Explorer (IE), you need to add the site to the Trusted Sites, which is located under the Security tab in "Tools -> Internet Options", and you may want to disable JS completely for the Internet and Untrusted Sites areas. To do this, go to the "Internet Options" and under the security tab, click the "Internet" zone. Then, click the "Custom Level" button. You can pretty much disable everything, but you're better off resetting all the options to the High preset (below the list of options). Make sure you click the reset button and click OK.
What about Firefox?
You need the NoScript extension, found here.
What about Chrome?
You can leave JS enabled globally. No further action is required. If you simply must have JS disabled, you might want to use Firefox.
To play it safe (or safer, anyway), you can get a free anti-virus program. I recommend Avast. It's always a good idea to have virus protection when browsing the web, and Avast does a good job of catching browser-based dangers.
We all hate paying extremely high prices for software, and we see people using that expensive software every day. Some of those people use the software illegally. While you may not get caught and thrown in jail, these pirated programs can have anything hidden within them.
Your best protection from such programs is to prevent them from existing on your computer. I know how it feels to have friends who say they can give you a copy of 3DSMax 2010. You should always ask where they got the software. If they downloaded it from some torrent or a P2P (peer-to-peer) file sharing network, you should refuse to use the software. If in doubt, always say no.
But I can't afford art programs!
Not everybody can afford Photoshop, and that's why GIMP exists.
But I can't afford 3d programs!
You should try Blender 2.55 Beta.
While this rule might not seem to help you every day, it's necessary to keep strangers from peeking into your computer. If you're running a network, I recommend using Ubuntu (Linux) for the computer that controls the network. Linux is much more secure than Mac or Windows and has plenty of free security tools.
Disable referrers in Firefox, preventing pages from knowing where you came from. Delete cookies when you close your browser. Check your computer for spyware. Follow the 5 rules.