The combination of spyware, malware and adware makes for a horrid blight on the PC landscape. The creators of these foul applications are indiscriminate, encouraging their malignant wares to spread unchecked across the internet to reside within your computer. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to prevent this plague of slimeware from infecting your machine.
1. Read the EULA There are many people who click through the license agreement that comes up when installing software. Malware and slimeware developers take advantage of this fact by putting their own contingencies into the agreement, giving the appearance that the user consented to the installation of the software. If you read text carefully, you will be able to decide whether you are installing legitimate software.
2. Activate Security Settings Change the browser security on your computer to the highest that you can tolerate. Usually, this is medium or medium high. Your browser will ask you for mission to download anything, forcing you to be more aware of any malware which may soon be installed on your machine.
3. Use a Browser Other Than IE Internet Explorer is the most popular browser, making it a prime target for hackers. These developers will occasionally make spyware that only affects Internet Explorer, and not the many other free browsers that are out there. If you have trouble with constant infection, change browsers.
4. Update Your OS Update your operating system as many times as it will allow you. In the updates, there are security tweaks which will make your computer more proficient and safer to run. The Microsoft team keeps track of security holes and patches them frequently.
5. Install a Firewall Firewalls make a great defense against spyware, viruses and adware. A firewall will ask you directly whether you want certain programs installed or whether they can access the net. This is valuable because you can say no to anything that you do not immediately recognize.
6. Don’t Click Popups There are so few popups which have good intentions that you should leave it alone. Popups will hide what they do, so the best way to get rid of them is to go to your task manager and end the process. Clicking on them is an invitation to install.
7. Install AntiViral Software There are a multitude of legitimate free antiviral applications. These prevent the harmful programs from touching your system. Some suggestions for free antivirus software would be Spyware Search and Destroy or Avira Antivirus.
8. Deny ActiveX Controls When your settings are high enough, you will get notifications about whether to install ActiveX controls. Unless you are absolutely sure of an ActiveX control, do not allow it to install on your computer. You might get whatever it is advertising with a lot more.
9. Don’t Open Strange Email Spammers and propagators of malware will occasionally hijack friends’ email accounts and send out their nefarious wares. If you have received an odd email, don’t open it. If your friend’s email doesn’t use the traditional greeting, don’t open it. Remember to set your computer so it doesn’t automatically open attachments.
10. Trust Your Instincts There is no site which will actively scream, ‘get your malware here!’ There are many sites which are highly likely for spreading the disease of malware. If you find one of them and you do not feel ‘right’ about browsing it, leave the site and run an antiviral scan on it. Your safety is of utmost concern. Spyware and malware installation can be prevented with your vigilance. While nothing will actively stop its spread, you can take preventative measures to keep it from your own machine. Good luck!
Guest post by James who is a full time writer and analyst who works with an ink cartridges specialist where he covers the latest developments in hardware such as the HP 300XL on their blog about design and technology.