1- Install the right software; choose carefully!
Do you really need that quirky free shareware? Maybe it will just distract you, or bring along some malware for the ride. Is it something you will only use once a year? Even mainstream software products require a bit of thought. The software vendor should have a solid reputation. If this is your first time with the software, are step-by-step tutorials available?
2- Good security software/procedures will save your bacon.
In addition to anti-virus software and firewalls, please don’t forget security procedures. Use strong passwords. If you don’t want to memorize all of them, try a reliable password manager tool. You can even store your passwords inside an encrypted file. Then, just memorize the strong password to that file. Don’t assume every email that asks for your personal information is legitimate. Take training classes. Get on Google or Bing and search for “cybercrime basic diy security procedures.” You’ll find some good ideas.
3- Update everything regularly; software & your operating system.
The main reason updates are crucial is that many contain security patches. Many of the infamous “hacks” that have caused many millions of dollars lost were caused by lack of updates. Software vendors make updating easy. Do yourself a favor. If you own a business, you are also doing all your customers and employees a favor. They also are relying on your computer network.
4- Discard old, unused files. But, run backups first! And regularly.
Digital housecleaning can be tough. Most of us want to complete a project and then move on. Try giving yourself 15 minutes each day to delete old files, or files that were only intended to be temporary. Your backups should be on a regular schedule; at least once a week. Do you know how to use that backup to recover from lost data? Find out!
5- Cleanliness really does help. No food, beverages, or dust. This one is easy.
Your computer/laptop/tablet is not waterproof. The sudden application of liquid can instantly ruin your expensive gizmo. Even dust in the room can build up between keyboard keys or inside connection ports. So, you can bet that croutons will be just as bad. Or worse. Make your life easier by keeping food products separate.