People tend to think of computers like appliances. They work, and don't require maintenance. It's better to think of them like cars, that need periodic oil changes, tire rotations, check-ups and the like. Most importantly, with computers, we need to keep our software up to date. At the very least, every computer that's connected to the Internet needs to have anti-virus software, and that software needs to be updated. If there's not an option to do so automatically, then someone needs to update it frequently.


Beyond that, we need to keep our operating systems up to date. This is especially important with the various flavors of Windows, because of how popular a hacking target they are, but any OS can develop vulnerabilities that need to be patched.


And it's not just the OS that needs to be kept up to date. Hackers love to find and exploit vulnerabilities in programs like Adobe Acrobat, Flash, Microsoft Office and more. Flash is a particularly dangerous program to leave updated, because of its prevalence on websites.


Bottom line is that if you haven't thought about updating your OS and programs recently, you should do so soon, because an infected computer becomes a threat to everyone else on the net.