It’s the easiest and most important way to protect yourself from viruses, diseases and flu this season; but also the most overlooked. It’s imperative that you wash your hands as frequently as possible, especially before eating or drinking. But as easy as it sounds (and absolutely is), you must make sure you are washing your hands correctly. Merely swishing your hands under the faucet for 3 seconds will not do. Make sure you use clean, warm water and soap with an alcohol-based hand cleanser (a dime or quarter-sized amount, no droplets) for at least 15 to 20 seconds. Clean the whole hand, including under your nails, the backs and wrist (germs can travel outside the palms, you know). When soap and water aren’t readily available, use alcohol-based hand wipes or sanitizing gels such as Purell, frequently. Hand sanitizer doesn’t work on visible dirty hands! Then be sure to rub or shake hands until completely dry. Be extra vigilant about washing after spending time in crowded public places like subways, airports, movie theaters and shopping malls. You’ll be doing both yourself and others a favor if you do. For more information from the CDC click here .