How to Avoid Spyware and Viruses

Of course by now you have heard about the problems that arise from unwanted adware and spyware tucked away on your computer.  You probably even know how to get rid of the adware and the spyware once it gets on your computer, but do know how to keep you from getting there in the first place?

The sad fact is that a lot of Internet users do know the dangers of adware and spyware, but act as though they have no idea how the malware gets installed on their computer in the first place.  If you engage in some of the riskier online behaviour practices, you are asking to get a hard drive chock-full of adware and spyware.

If you’re interested in keeping your computer free of the worry some duo, there are a few things that you can put into practice which can save you a lop off time and trouble and cut down on the amount of time that used in removing malware from your hard drive.

One of the oldest ticks, as well as one of the most effective means devised by unscrupulous webmasters to install both adware and spyware is a link which is contained in a pop-up window.

The type of pop-up windows I am referring to are the windows which pop-up and announce that you have something wrong with your computer or that you have just won some amount of cash or various prizes.  Pop-up windows are now just part of the status quo on the Internet, so we are all used to getting them in various amounts.  Usually if we do not like what we see in the pop-up we will simply clicked the close link located somewhere on the pop-up window.

The problem with clicking any links contained in a pop-up window is that you never know who what type of code is contained in the link.  Sure, it could be simple code to close the window, or it could be a small script to install malware on your computer.  Therefore, it is important to make it a habit to click on the “X” in the upper right hand corner rather than clicking on a link within the window to close it. Some pop-ups will not have the ”X” in the upper right hand corner to try and force you to click within the pop-up, so pay strict attention to all pop-ups that you encounter.

Another tactic which works very well for the scammers is to offer some type of free program to download.  Some of the most popular items to download on the Internet are screensavers and toolbars.  These little gems are notorious for transferring all types of unwanted items which will piggyback within the programs while they are being downloaded.  You should always virus scan anything that to download from the Internet, even if it is a trusted source.

Yet another very effective means to get your computer filled with spyware and adware is to click on the links contained in “viral” emails.  I’m sure you know which ones I am referring to, they usually have something funny or of other interest contained in them, and the subject line says “FWD” followed by a hook line. Everyone seems to have at least one contact that likes to send e-cards and joke emails. This is an ideal way to transmit spyware and adware to hundreds of people in just a few short hours. I encourage you to not participate in the propagation of these emails, and definitely learn just to delete them.

As long as the internet exists, there will be those who will want to exploit anyone and everyone they can online. You can reduce the instances of their handy work on your computer by following the suggestions above.

How many people would go out on the street and give a stranger all of their personal information, including their Social Security number, their bank account info and any passwords associated with their Paypal or their affiliate accounts? The answer is no one.

Yet, everyday all over the world people are handing out this type of information without even realizing it. How is this so? It’s because of spyware. What is spyware? It is a type of program which takes note of what a person does on their computer.

This information is then sent to the spyware author who uses it either to send the person advertisements that they think would be of interest or worse, steal their identities.

Spyware has the potential to ruin people’s lives, which is why it needs to be removed immediately from a person’s computer.

To eliminate spyware a person needs to get an anti-spyware program. An anti-spyware program will delete spyware after performing a thorough scan on a person’s computer. You can check out more information on the trojan horse virus here.

Many of them cost money, but there are several out there that can do the job for free. Some of these can be provided through a person’s ISP. Others can be found through a simple search engine query.

However, it is important to note that even if spyware is eliminated, if it was allowed to stay on a person’s computer for a long time, it may have already done serious damage. For this reason if an anti-spyware program shows any instance of spyware software on a person’s computer, they need to immediately make sure their personal accounts have not been infiltrated.

If they found that there has been fraudulent activity, they need to take immediate action. This includes notifying customer service of each account affected what happened and changing their account information. In fact, even if a person’s accounts are okay, they should consider at least changing their passwords.

This is because although the spyware author has not done anything yet, they could make their moves later. So, it’s best not to give them any type of ammunition. Changing passwords, (a process that is not that hard anyway), could be the determining factor of whether or not a person’s account gets fraudulently taken over.

The internet is a true wonder. At no time in history has the human race ever been so in touch, and it is all due to the internet. It can be a source for information, as well as entertainment, and even supplies some individuals with the means to provide their livelihood. But there is another side of the internet, and it is fueled by the desires of the nefarious to wreak havoc on the rest of the internet denizens. If you haven’t guessed it by now, I’m referring to those who create and release viruses for sheer glee, or for financial gain.

Identity theft has become an everyday occurrence, and it is growing at an exponential pace. Unsuspecting individuals are having their personal information stolen daily by software which is placed on their computer with the strict intention to bilk them out of whatever the crooks can get. Luckily there are several things that you can do to lower your risk of getting your financial and other personal information stolen.  In this article we will focus on just one of those, and it is known as virus detection software.

Most computers come equipped with some type of virus protection software straight out of the box. Two of the most prominent are Norton Antivirus and McAfee Antivirus. The only problem with the pre-installed antivirus software is that it generally has a very limited free trial attached to its use. When the free trail is over, the user is left to purchase a yearly subscription to the service if they want it to continue.

There are online services which offer free virus scans. These companies allow the computer user to scan their computer anytime they please. Some of them are browser specific, and can only be utilized by using the Internet Explorer browser. Others will work on several browsers, including Mozilla Firefox. Let’s look at some of the top online virus scan websites.

Trend Micro Housecall – This is probably one of the most recognized online virus scanners available. On the Trend Micro site, the software will not only scan for viruses, but also spyware and it will check for certain vulnerabilities on your computer.

Symantec Security Check – You probably recognize the name that brings you Norton Antivirus. Symantec Security Check will give you the option to test your computer’s security against outside threats as well as scan for viruses.

Panda Security Activescan – Panda Antivirus has a proven track record for being top notch in the antivirus category. This online version will perform numerous scans and removes viruses, Trojans and malware that could be lurking in your computer.

For a list of freeware only software make sure to check out the Freeware Geeks Free Software Directory here.

Freeware GeeksUnfortunately, it is getting easier for your computer to catch a virus or be infected with any number of other malicious software types. Luckily, with these three choices online you’ll make your spyware and virus removal a hell of a lot easier!

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