Guide

Protecting your computer and devices online

Last updated: 20 April 2017

Software updates, firewalls and security software

You can help protect your computer, smartphone and tablet by:

  • installing updates to software and operating systems
  • using a firewall and security software

Doing this will help protect your money online. And it's important you have this software and any updates installed before you bank or buy things online.

Software updates

Installing updates to your software and operating system can help keep you safe from:

  • viruses
  • spyware
  • criminal activities

Software manufacturers release security updates on a regular basis to protect against these online threats.

You can find more advice on the Get Safe Online website about:

Firewalls

A firewall is a type of software that can help protect your computer, smartphone or tablet from:

  • viruses
  • spyware
  • a hacker

You can find more advice about firewalls on the Getsafeonline.org website.

Internet security software

Internet security software is sometimes called 'antivirus software' and 'antispyware'.

It can protect your computer, smartphone or tablet by scanning:

  • incoming emails for attached viruses
  • files to make sure they're not infected
  • USB devices, for example memory sticks, external hard drives, MP3 players

You can find more advice on internet security software on the Get Safe Online website.

Protecting your computer and devices online
Software updates, firewalls and security software