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Part I - Update, update, update!
The three "updates" in the title of this part stand for: update your operating system, update your software and update your antivirus program. Updating is a critical aspect of staying safe online. Some of you might find updating inconvenient, but even if it is not as easy as click and go, it is an effort well worth undertaking and it will make a huge difference to your security.
If you use one of the still supported versions of Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista and 7, without counting the server flavors), make sure that you have the latest Service Pack (SP) for your operating system installed. This is important, as security updates are offered to you based on the SP deployed on your system.
In the Windows world, a Service Pack is a stand-alone package which contains all security updates, hotfixes and other enhancements released over a longer period of time for a particular version of the OS. There are several methods of obtaining the latest service pack.
The recommended way is by using the Windows Update website, who's shortcut is located under the Windows Start menu, or the system's Automatic Updates feature, accessible from the Control Panel. The other method involves obtaining the stand-alone installation package (for Windows XP for Windows Vista) and installing it manually.