Easy ways to keep your online accounts safe

Your kids' test scores tracked online
Your kids' test scores tracked online

Is using a single computer exclusively for online financial transactions a good way to minimize fraud? -- Paul, Nevada

Sure, you'd be safer, since cyber-criminals would have fewer chances to hijack your computer via booby-trapped websites or emails. That strategy, though, isn't foolproof or practical, says Al Pascual, an analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research.

Instead, install an antivirus program such as Avast Free Antivirus (a top CNET pick), update your software so that newly uncovered security holes are patched, and rely on one web browser just for your financial activities.

Use your machine's default browser for everything else; if that's compromised, your financial information will be isolated.

Related: 13 killer Windows 8.1 features

Sign up for account activity alerts at your bank, and don't recycle the same password for different institutions.

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