Kit: Protect Your PC From Viruses for Cheap

And there you go: that’s how easy it is to completely brick your newly bought PC. Luckily, it’s just as easy to prevent that from happening. So here’s one for the Consumerist Kit: how to protect your computer from viral scumbags without paying a dime. This is only valid for Windows users, the suckers.

1) Get all the security updates from Windows Update. If you’ve never updated before, there will be a million of them.

2) Ditch Internet Explorer. Do your browsing through Firefox or Opera. Not only are both browsers much more pleasant to use, but they are not nearly as vulnerable to exploit as IE6.

3) Download some anti-virus software. There’s no reason to shell out for McAffee or Norton: those programs are system hogs. Try Avast instead, which is completely free. Or, even better, go with AVG, which is actually my preferred XP free antivirus of choice.

4) Of course, scumware and malware can always slip through. So download Ad-Aware and Spybot and run them once a month.

Or, you know, buy a Mac.

Old news to many of our readers, but this is really a bare minimum for protecting your Windows PC in this day and age.