6. View the Windows Security Center
With incredible advances in computer connectivity and computer capabilities (such as Internet connectivity and wireless networking) have also come a number of security risks and problems. New computer viruses seem to pop up on a daily basis and crackers (bad hackers) find new way to exploit computers faster than software companies such as Microsoft can block the attacks.
Microsoft's Service Pack 2 (SP2) update to Windows XP added the Windows Security Center to the operating system, providing an easy way for you to monitor security essentials such as Windows updates, virus protection software, and the Windows Firewall.
It is important that you take advantage of at least basic protection for your computer, such as up-to-date virus-scanning software and the Windows Firewall. A number of other security measures are possible, such as the use of wireless router firewalls and WiFi network security strategies (see Configure Router Firewall Settings for firewall information and About 802.11 Security Strategies for information on securing WiFi networks). You can also take advantage of software that block spyware and web browser pop-ups and that also protects your email software from virus infection. For example, products such as Zone Alarm, Norton SystemWorks, and others supply different software strategies for dealing with viruses and other invasive "bugs" such as spyware. The amount and type of security software you install on your computer is really up to you, but a virus-infected computer is certainly not a very reliable productivity or entertainment tool.
View the Windows Security Center