Software that your computer needs to have:
Flash Player: Allows your computer to view flash elements on websites
Adobe Reader: Needed to view PDF files
Shockwave Player: Used in many different Websites.
Java: Used in many websites.
When the Internet first became publicly used in the early 1990s it was a relatively safe place. Since then some dangerous places have sprung up within it. With global reach it has attracted many destructive and dishonest people. Some of them create viruses, worms, spyware, adware,keyloggers and other forms of embedded code known as malware that cause computer problems. Some of them use this code and various techniques to secretly steal your personal information!
It sounds scary but there are many things you can do to protect your computer.
Start with Anti-Virus software, there are many out there and some are better than others. You probably got a free trial period with an Anti-Virus program when you purchased your computer. Free trials olny last a few months and you need to stay protected. I use AVG Free Edition. It's free and it works well.
I also use Malwarebytes in addition to AVG.
Next we need to clean out the spyware and adware. These are the annoying programs that record your browsing habits and sends them across the Internet. Have you ever downloaded screensavers or toolbars? Spyware is almost always bundled in with them. Thankfully there is a program that you can use to get rid of all that. It's called Spybot: Search and Destroy. It's free also and it's an excellent tool to help your computer. Remember to use it twice a month and always update before starting the scan.
Most people use Windows as their computer operating system, it's very important to run updates whenever they are available. How do you know when there are updates available? You will see a small yellow colored shield shaped icon in the taskbar. You can also go to the windows update site and see if your computer needs to be updated.
Another way to protect yourself is to use a different Internet browser than Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer is not as secure as it could be and is often used as an entry point to gain access to your computer.
Firefox is a browser that I like a lot, it's easy to use and has many options. Firefox offers many extensions they call Add-ons to let you customize the browser, these add-ons can change the appearance of the browser or give you access to useful tools. I recommend the following add-ons: Noscript, oldbar, Adblock plus, and WOT