Messages should be checked for language errors and coherency. Errors can be indicative of computer-translated spam.
Mail from unknown sources, sent from a suspicious address (i.e. firstname.lastname@example.org), and with suspicious titles should be deleted.
Correspondence from trusted sources could have been sent against their will, via an infected computer. Suspicious messages and attachments can’t be trusted even when sent from recognised address.
Links embedded in email text should never be clicked. Address should be typed into the address bar of the browser by hand.
Before opening any attachments, it should be considered whether it is expected and was alluded in the message. Doubts should be verified with the sender.
Using the browser:
Before entering a website, address should be checked for typos and suspicious errors (e.g. “microsaft” instead of “microsoft). Sites with suspicious addresses should be avoided.
Before logging in on a site check its authenticity. Address should begin with https:// and can’t contain any typos. Suspicious sites might contain warped logos, unexpected ads or other unusual elements.
Avoid installing unnecessary browser plugins, additional widgets or accelerators. Necessary and working plugins should be kept updated.
Unlicensed programs can provide breaches in system’s security and can result in unauthorised remote access to computer. The most secure source of software is the producers’ website.
Many popular software download sites force installation of potentially dangerous download manager.
Software installers can have additional install options turned on on default. They might install unnecessary or dangerous software like adware, redundant antivirus software or other.
Installed antivirus software should be checked for function and updates. If it turned off by itself or the updates stopped, it should be immediately reported to computer administrator.
Keep track of updates and patches for operating system and installed software.
Important files should be backed up on external memory, and stored in at least 2 copies at secure location.