Ransom Ware & Admin User
It's scary to think that your beloved computer could be "bricked", as easy as 1 click. Anti Virus programs give you a false sense of security. The first line of defense is You.
Most of us are our own I.T. guy to some extent. We install programs, and also browse the Web. These are the 2 most dangerous things.
Installing a program is something left to an "Administrator". Don't fret, you can be your own administrator. Don't be scared, this means one very important thing. It means you have to jump through a few hoops when performing things on your computer that have dangerous potential.
The main thing an adminstrator account does is be a gatekeeper. It prevents the standard user from installing or changing a setting without entering the admin password. Sounds complicated.......but it's not really.
Here is an article from Indiana University which outlines how to make these Administrator accounts.
Basically, is the account you are using probably already has Admin privileges. What you have to do is change this to "Standard" this way you will not inadvertently do something bad. This is done by going to the Control Panel and then the User Accounts section. Make a "New Admin Account with a password. Once that is done, you change the account you usually are using (the default account), and make it a Standard user or Limited user. Now, whenever you need to install something, the computer will ask for a password. This will make you think and not go in blindly. This is important if you inadvertently sent an email link to some bad stuff. When the Admin Password Dialog pops up, it will make you think. "Did I want to do that?" "What is this thing trying to install?", etc.