Part of your job at home and at work is to make sure that malware is never installed on any device. So how can you do that?
1. Follow the leader company policy.
First and foremost, when at work, always know and follow company policy concerning the download and/or installation of ANY software and be sure you know who to contact if you suspect a problem with any company computer or mobile device.
2. Create different user accounts.
At home, create different user accounts and only use the Administrator Account when you really need it. Some malware can automatically install when the computer is in admin mode!
3. Scan your emails.
Incoming emails and downloads should be scanned with an up-to-date anti-malware scanner. Pay attention to the results! Take a look at: http://www.top10antivirussoftware.com/ and note that current products include anti-phishing and personal firewalls. Do your homework before choosing & using one!
4. Install a personal firewall.
At home and on your laptops, install a personal firewall, like Zone Alarm or Bitdefender (for reviews on personal firewalls, see: http://personal-firewall-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ ). Configure it to look for OUTGOING traffic, as well as incoming. Malware often communicates with distant computers and a personal firewall can both detect and stop unwanted traffic!
5. IDK, Google it.
Do not download any software from unknown or ‘funky’ websites. Install a reputation engine in your browser to keep you away from bad neighborhoods. And when in doubt, ask Google! “Is [PROGRAM NAME] malware or bad for my computer?” A little bit of research can save you a load of trouble.
6. Stop, drop, and roll! Oops, I mean… Unplug, disconnect, and call!
If your computer seems to be behaving oddly, and you suspect a virus or other malware infection, best practices suggest you unplug your network connection or turn off wifi. Then, call for help! (At work, follow company policy!) At home, unplug, do some research, or call a specialist. Disinfecting computers can be very complex and time consuming. You can make things worse if you are not up to speed technically!
7. Disinfect and wipe clean!
Erase and format new USB sticks before using them. If they are infected with Autorun and malware, your computer can get infected and you will never know. So it’s always better to wipe them clean before use. At work, make sure you know and follow USB related policy!