How can I keep my computer completely safe online?

Eric from Colombus, OH

Episode 1459 (2:14:17)

Marc Goodman - Future Crimes Book

Eric wants to know if there's a check list to make sure he's safe while online. Leo says that there is. its called the U.P.D.A.T.E. protocol, and it was invented by an agent of the FBI:

Update Frequently
Passwords - make them complicated. A password vault can help.
Download - watch what you download. Don't go to unknown third party sites, and don't install anything you don't really need.
Administrator - Don't run as an administrator account. Nowadays you don't have to worry about this with a modern OS, but on older machines like Windows 7 or XP, use a standard user account.
Turn-off - Turn off your machine when you don't need it. If it's not on, it can't be hacked.
Encrypt - Encrypt your data using the built-in file encryption utility. That way even if they get your data, they can't see what it is. Leo also says to encrypt traffic with a VPN. What's the best? Leo likes TunnelBear and the Hotspot VPN hardware device. There's also Krebbs on Security VPN recommendations here.

The NSA also has their own guide towards locking down your OS, hardware, and more.