Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century
Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Preparing for your digital life in the 21st Century

Protecting your computer

There are three main ways to protect your computer against malware.

  • Ensure that your computer has the latest patch from the producer of your operating system (OS). Microsoft, Apple and other producers frequently issue patches for their products.
  • Make sure other software is kept up to date – Adobe Reader, Flash, Java and web browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox, etc.) to name just a few. As new malware is discovered, so new versions of software are released that guard against it.
  • Install anti-virus software and keep it up to date. Anti-virus software catches a very high percentage of malware, but only if the version on your computer is regularly updated. Remember that if you don’t use Windows, it is still possible to pass on files infected with malware to Windows users. That’s why the main job of anti-virus software for Apple’s OS X is to check files for things that could infect Windows machines.

In addition, you can use a piece of software called a firewall. This tries to stop unauthorised access to your computer without impeding your own authorised online access. There may be a firewall built into your computer’s operating system; others may be present in the hardware that connects your computer to the internet.

As well as the technical protections described above, you should protect yourself by using anti-virus software to scan any files you receive before you open them. This should include:

  • files you download from the Web
  • files given to you on removable media such as a CD or memory stick
  • files attached to emails.

Bear in mind that no reputable software company sends unsolicited email messages with attachments, claiming to be giving you an update.

TU100_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371