The Top Security Tips of 2010 (Rick's Picks)

Last Updated Dec 9, 2010 4:57 PM EST

Starting now and for the rest of the month, we're going to take the occasional look back at some of our favorite posts of 2010. First up: security.

I know it's not the most exciting subject, but it's definitely one of the most important. This batch of tips and advice should help you keep your system -- and your data -- safe and sound.

Why Are You Still Spending Money on Antivirus Software?

Microsoft's free Security Essentials, coupled with common sense and the security tools built into Windows (Vista and 7), should be enough to keep most systems malware-free.

Find Out What's Behind Those Shortened Links

They're everywhere these days, but they're also a huge security risk because you can't determine where they'll take you until you click them. Find out how to peek behind the shortened-link curtain.

How to Eliminate Fake Security Alerts

Way too many users fall for these realistic-looking warnings. One wrong click and you'll open the malware floodgates. Here's how to spot the fakes -- and rid your system of them.

Want to Compromise Your PC's Security? Keep Clicking That Spam

Every time you click a link in a spam e-mail, you're letting the hackers win. And half of all users do it! Learn why it's so important to think before you click.

Use a Flash Drive to Rescue a Malware-Infested PC

Armed with a simple, inexpensive flash drive and a free anti-malware tool, you can clean up even the most heavily infested system. Here's how.

Did we run a particularly good security post that didn't make the list? Hit the comments and tell us which one(s)!

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.