We are seeing a growing number of instances of bad software called crime-ware. This software pretends to do things like prevent virus or network attacks; but really does not. The software then tries to extort money from the user to “fix” the problems that are not there. This software sometimes installs other bad software and can stop you from using your computer normally. Here is how to prevent or greatly reduce most of these threats from infecting your computer.
Modern operating systems for home computers have the ability to separate data for users by having multiple accounts. This allows each user to have their own “private” space on the computer. You can use this ability to improve computer security.
Setup an administrator account with a good password and have that password written down in a safe place so you do not forget it. Make sure you can log in and out of this account before going any further! NOTE: Do not use this password for anything else!
Create accounts for every user on the computer making those accounts “standard user” accounts. Ensure that each account has a password. Change any existing accounts from administrator to “standard user” and ensure they have passwords set
These accounts will not be able to install software without the administrator password. As a side benefit most bad software (mal-ware) cannot install either as the operating system will require an administrator to install!
It really is OK to write that password down and keep it in a safe place!