It's dead easy to get a computer these days but maintaining the computer and protecting your data both offline and online requires a lot of work. However there are certain precautions you can take that will guarantee a reasonable degree of security.

-Your (Internet Protocol) IP address acts as a major source of information for hackers. Your IP is visible to almost anyone on the internet when you visit sites. It is advisable to key in anonymous proxies in your browsers or use anonymity software's while surfing the net.

-Always update your anti-virus software as new viruses are developed everyday. It is also important to have a reliable firewall software.

-Passwords are supposed to act as a means of security but you have to secure it. How? Never use a nickname, a family name or a word that can be guessed easily. Use a combination of letters, figures and symbols. This will make your password hard to crack.

-Never visit suspicious sites. Never make payments in a site with expired or invalid ssl certificate.

-Try as much as possible not to open spam mails as some may contain viruses.

-Disconnect your internet connection when not in use as this will reduce the chance of your computer getting hacked.

-Regularly check your list of installed programs as someone might install a key logger on your PC.

Hackers can plant spywares on your computer, get your credit card and bank details, delete your files, infect your computer with viruses that might crash your OS. It is way better to prevent these from happening as some damages might be irreparable.
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