The worst tech-support call you can get starts something like “I think I have some kind of virus?” Prevention is easier than treatment:

  • Get Oracle’s Java out of your browser. The simplest way to do that is to uninstall Java completely.
  • Get Adobe’s Flash plug-in out of your browser. With this vulnerability-prone multimedia add-on no longer needed to play video at many sites, you can go ahead and uninstall Flash  For sites that still demand Flash, Google’s Chrome and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer.
  • • Get smarter about passwords. After ensuring friends and family don’t reuse passwords for accounts of any value.  The simplest security upgrade is to use a password manager like Dashlane or LastPass to generate, store and enter complex passwords automatically. Two-step verification, in which you confirm a login that appears unusual by entering a numeric code sent to your phone, helps safeguard especially valuable accounts like the e-mail you use to log into bank accounts.
  • Save the most important passwords of family members you help in the secure-notes function of your own password manager.