Getting an antivirus is a great first step in staying protected, but there’s more to it than that.

Here’s some digital security basics everyone should know.

1) Make sure all your apps are up-to-date

Careful, that glass is a pretty close to the PC

Updates are right at the top of the list of things you can do to stay protected. Along with new features, updates bring important security fixes and improvements. Anything you haven’t used in a long time and hasn’t gotten any updates is worth uninstalling. For everything else: don’t ignore the updates!

Don’t worry about your new antivirus: we’re keeping that updated for you.

2) Be wary of Bad Links

Cats can also be dangerous

Don’t just click on something because it promises to show you cute kittens. Always think twice before clicking on a link on a webpage or in an email from someone you don’t know. Check the address behind the link to make sure it’s legit.

We’re constantly scanning for bad links before you click on them, but that’s no reason to be reckless.

3) “password” should never be your password

They'll never guess "54321" (yeah, and burglars never check the sock drawer either)

A good password is your first line of defense. Make sure you’re using a strong password for your accounts, and use different ones for each.

Now, we know how annoying making a strong password can be. So if you only do one thing: make it long! As in at-least-16-characters long.

Or you can use a password manager: they create strong random passwords and can remember them for you.

4) Delete sensitive files

The former Sunnydale mayor loved shredding files

Social Security numbers, bank statements, private photos... Leaving these things on your computer is just asking for trouble. Print them out and delete the original file.

There are ways of retrieving deleted files, so make sure you use a secure form of deletion.

We included a handy File Shredder in your antivirus that securely deletes sensitive data. Just right-click any file and select “Permanently shred with AVG”.

Go ahead: try it on some file you were going to delete anyways.

5) Or keep them safe

Do people still use manila folders?

If you need to keep sensitive data, don’t just leave it unprotected. Keep it stored away on a USB key, and make sure any computer you plug it into is first scanned for malware.

If you want to keep them on the PC, then at least encrypt & password-protect them.

Our Data Safe digital vault does exactly that, and is included in the PRO upgrade to your antivirus.

AVG AntiVirus FREE FREE Download