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    How to keep your computer protected - 5 ways to stay safe

    From a strong password to using a secure network, find out the top five ways to keep your computer protected when you're online.

    Whether you've got a laptop, PC or even a tablet, it's important that you keep your computer protected and stay safe online. Check out our five top tips to keep you, your family and all your personal data safe from the online world.

    1. Use a secure network

    It's important that when you're connected to an internet network that it's secure - whether you're at home or in a local café. If a network isn't secure, it means it's open to anyone to use and access your private data. You can identify a secure network by checking it has a password, and if you're in public you may even be asked to create an account and agree to a terms of use. If you're using a public network, it's always best to steer away from working on any personal or sensitive data.

    2. Use strong passwords

    Whether it's for your account log-ins or your own Wi-Fi, you want to make sure that all your passwords are strong. This way it's harder for anyone to hack into them.

    For a password to be considered strong it should:

    - Not contain your name, personal information or common words

    - Be different to your other passwords

    - Be long and include capital letters, numbers and symbols

    3. Invest in an antivirus package

    An antivirus software detects, prevents and kills any viruses or malware that may be a threat to your computer. They run quietly in the background, but they're constantly keeping your computer and information safe from all kinds of online nasties, like spyware and trojan horses.

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    4. Be wary of suspicious links and emails

    These days, hackers try to get personal information from you through emails, social posts and messages, or online ads. Some will look unusual, while others can appear to look like they're from trusted sources, like a delivery service or your bank. Always double check the sender of an email, and never click on a link and enter personal details.

    5. Keep your software updated

    Always make sure that any software that's installed on your computer is up to date. When software is out of date, it's vulnerable to threats and viruses. If there's a way to turn automatic updates on, we'd always recommend it.