Inexpensive Ways to Protect Yourself Against Malicious Software

In the early 1990s when the BBSs were starting to decline and Microsoft was trying to compete with the Internet, Microsoft magazine ran an article about the potential danger of viruses from bulletin board systems. A few bulletin board systems are still around, but most have gone by the way side. Back then most system operators ran the files people uploaded through virus scanners such as the popular McCaffees. Believe it or not it used to be shareware. Those days may be long gone but the Internet has exposed users to many more dangers and indeed has made acquiring a larger and indeed world-wide selection of computer viruses even easier.

Not using the Windows operating system may be the best way to eliminate alot of threats on the Internet since it popular and in many ways less secure than Mac OS or open source competitors such as Linux. For most of us switching to either is not a realistic possibility although as Linux becomes easier to use and more software gets produced for it and drivers for IBM hardware start to be ported to the Mac OS, that may change. Visit the up coming post: text spy

You may think that you have to spend a lot of money to guard against threats such as spyware, viruses and attempts at hacking but that is simply not true. Windows XP 2 and later includes a simple firewall although for added protection you may want to install a different one not specifically targeted by hackers who simply do not like Redmond, Washington based company. Free and effective firewalls are a bit harder to find than spyware or antivirus programs.

Now when getting free spyware or antivirus programs there is one thing you must be wary of. Many such programs are simply a front to protect you against anyone else’s spyware while cheerfully installing their own and collecting various bits of marketing data about you. In a similar tactic, a few free antivirus programs will install there one virus, the most insidious one being called Wintools which is exceptionally difficult to get rid of. Certain peer to peer file sharing networks will download there own mehtods of collecting valuable marketing data quietly to your computer with Gnutella’s Limewire being the only exception that I know of. Go to how to get text spy to work

The two most effective programs to guard your computer against programs that collect your data are free. The first one called Spybot Search and Destroy can sometimes be a little overzealous especially if you want to change your home page. (I eventually deleted it when I used PeoplePC as my Internet provider so I could set my homepage to Google.) The advantage of this over other such programs including the malicious software removal tool that comes with XP Service Pack 2 and later Windows version is it keeps an ever-vigilant guard against stealth attempts to download things onto your computer. If you are not that word, Ad-Aware SE is free for personal use and does not stay in your computers memory. The downside is that you must run the scan on your own from time to time or use the Event scheduler to do so. If you do not want to add extra software and run scans the simplest way to prevent many forms of unwanted software being secretly installed onto your computer is to turn off cookies in your browser. If you can remember all your passwords or simply plan on never logging in to any site other than your e-mail it is probably the most effective way if you couple it with never downloading anything from the Internet. One caution must be given if you do a google search for Ad-Aware. Make sure you download the software from Lavasoft’s site or sites like cNet. That way you are not getting software trying to capitalize on the name.

Protecting viruses from your computer is a little more difficult. It may be cheaper to download commercial programs but people will often insert viruses or other undesirable code onto your computer. Limewire, even without its spyware has had numerous problems with this in my experience. Even if you only download from trusted sites and do not accept cookies you will occasionally have problems with a computer virus. Certainly Norton and McCaffee’s work well, but you can also download Clamwin which comes on the Ubuntu CD as one of its Windows applications and not worry about paying for the updates. If you signed up for Antivirus Guard as a personal user before 2007, you can continue to get free updates and it has been in my experience more effective than Norton or McCaffees. However, no program can detect every virus and one of the major weaknesses of both spyware and virus removal tools is that they can only detect viruses already in their database. If a new one comes out which they often do, you must wait for it to be included in the next version of the definitions. Read the full report text spy by Copy9

A few simple steps can protect you and it need not be expensive to defend yourself against the most common bits of malicious code that can be downloaded onto your computer during your daily surfing. Now if they can just invent something to remove the desire for people in Nigeria to tell me they are sending me lots of money unless they really intend to do so.