The Best Advice On Staying Spyware And Virus-Free

We’ve all heard the cliché “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” This is as true on the Internet as anywhere else. Adware and spyware programs, also called malware or trackware, infect 9 of out 10 Internet-connected computers. Spyware can slow your computer to a crawl, corrupt your hard drive, or expose your private information. The most common way it gets on your computer is when you are downloading something else that claims to be free.What is spyware and how did it get on your PC?
Adware and spyware programs, also called malware or trackware, quietly and secretly monitor everything you do online, and can communicate your activities to a third party such as an online advertiser.
Spyware is commonly installed on your PC as a hidden addition to a legitimate program, by visiting websites, or through spam email.
Unlike the instant impact of a virus, well-written spyware and adware programs never reveal their presence on your PC.
Pop-up ad problems, a different homepage that you can’t change, and a slower PC or online experience are indications of a spyware problem.
No one is immune from Spyware infection. A recent study by EarthLink and Webroot found an average of 26.5 spyware and adware traces per SpyAudit scan.
Where does spyware come from?Spyware is software that collects personal information from you without first letting you know what it’s doing and without letting you decide whether this is OK or not. The information spyware collects can range from all the Web sites you visit to more sensitive information like usernames and passwords. You might be the target of spyware if you download music from file-sharing programs, free games from sites you don’t trust, or other software programs from an unknown source.Spyware is often associated with software that displays advertisements, called adware.The extra processing required to track you or to display advertisements can tax your computer and hurt your system performance.What are the signs that your PC is infected with spyware?
Your homepage is reset to an undesirable website change it back.
Problems with pop-up ads.
Slower than usual PC performance or Internet access.
Redirected web search results.
Strange additions to Favorites list or start-up menu.
Over the past several years in the course of repairing countless numbers of computers, IT professionals have identified thousands of spyware files, folders and Registry keys. Here’s a list compiled by experts of Do’s and Don’ts for protecting your systems from spyware and viruses.Do
Run up-to-date anti-virus software. We recommend Kaspersky Internet Security(TM) or Kasperksy Anti-Virus(TM) (
Run up-to-date Spyware monitoring software, such as SpySweeper(TM) (
Update the above-mentioned software manually if you are a dial-up user.
Clean off temporary Internet files from your computer.
Be wary of files you download off the Internet.
Supervise children – sites they visit and files they download.
Download music using legitimate pay-for-music distribution sites such as Napster, Rhapsody and iTunes.
Have your system maintained by a certified IT professional every 3-4 months to insure your investment lasts 3-5 years.
Download any type of free file-sharing utility (music, games, applications) such as KaZaa, Limewire, Bearshare, P2P, Grokster and Morpheus.
Click on any type of pop-up advertisement – always close them immediately using the “X” in the upper right corner of your browser window.
Accept email attachments from people you do not know.
Download freeware and shareware (free programs on Internet) unless you know they are from a legitimate company.
Ever allow website install ‘plug-ins’ to your Internet browser unless they are from a legitimate company such as Macromedia or Real.
Open files with which you are not familiar or did not personally create.
Download and run anti-spyware or anti-virus tools without consulting your local IT professional first.