of your network.
Also with protecting yourself with the above software shields, you should be careful about e-mail attachments. Don't open any from people you don't know. If you receive an attachment from someone you do know but weren't expecting it, it can be good practice to contact the sender to verify that the person actually intended to send it.
It's also important to keep your operating system up to date, ideally directing it to download bug fixes and other updates automatically. It's equally important to keep your antivirus and other security software up to date by doing the same.
Users of Microsoft Windows and Windows programs are most vulnerable to viruses, in part because of their market share and in part because there's a hostility in the virus underground toward big business that Microsoft represents. But Apple Macintosh and Linux users also need to be careful.
Reid Goldsborough is a syndicated columnist and author of the book Straight Talk About the Information Superhighway. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.netaxs.com/~reidgold/column.