Check the computer you're using has:
- up-to-date anti-virus software set to automatically check your files
- a firewall installed to stop other people getting at your information
- and your browser is set to the highest level of security notification and monitoring.
Remember that security features on your computer may not be operating unless you've chosen to turn them on.
Even with these security features working, be on your guard against unexpected emails or website links, even if they appear to be from familiar sources. Crooks can be very clever. As well as fraud your computer could be exposed to a software virus (particularly if the email has an attachment).
Trojans are hidden programs that can give control of your computer to a hacker or allow other people to monitor what you're doing. Many Trojans can be detected and removed using up to date anti-virus software and there are also a number of specialist software programs designed to deal with these.
Spyware is software that's placed on a computer to secretly gather information - it can also slow down your computer. Spyware can be carried in viruses or installed with free software downloaded from the internet. Read license agreements carefully. Again, there are software tools designed to combat Spyware.