3 Simple Tips to avoid Spyware on your PC

Discussion in 'Tech & Support' started by Kable24, Apr 19, 2006.

  1. Kable24 Member of the NRA

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,858
    Likes Received:
    0
    I got this from another site and figured some people on here need to read this.

    People talk about spyware a lot, these days; to many, it's a problem as serious as computer viruses, if not more so. Because it's a more recent subject, much of the available information about it is confusing and sometimes contradictory.

    Due to that, many users simply give up - they accept spyware as something unavoidable, and "solve" the problem by formatting their system from time to time. Which, let's admit it, is not only bothersome, but also makes no sense at all. Things should - and can - be better.

    There are many guides and articles about spyware, but some are too technical for most users, while the rest of them are simply "buy and install that anti-spyware program". Such a program can be used to remove existing spyware, but what most people don't know is that it is possible to have a completely spyware-free computer, without spending a cent, simply by following the next 3 suggestions:

    1. Do not use Internet Explorer
    To a great many Windows users, this suggestion will seem to make no sense. "How do I access the Internet, then?"

    Without going into a lot of detail, Internet Explorer (IE) is a web browser, usually just referred to as a "browser". It's a browser - meaning, it's one of them, there are others. IE, which has been a part of Windows for some years now, is a browser which has a large history of security problems, which are lessened by keeping Windows up to date (see suggestion 2), but not completely eliminated.

    A lot of spyware installs itself, without knowledge or authorization by the user, through Internet Explorer. Merely using it to browse the Internet tends to make a PC become infested with spyware in a short time.

    IE has only two valid uses: downloading another browser, and updating Windows (once again, see suggestion 2).

    Which other browser should you use? Personally, I recommend Mozilla Firefox, but Opera is also an excellent, secure and easy to use browser.
    Warning:
    Some programs add features to Internet Explorer, but continue to use it internally, and, therefore, keep all of its security problems. A few examples of those are Avant Browser and Netcaptor. For security reasons, it's much better to use browsers completely independent from IE, such as Firefox or Opera.

    2. Keep your Windows updated
    Many users don't really understand the need for software updates. After all, when you buy an appliance, such as a washing machine or a TV, it doesn't need "updating".

    Unfortunately, modern computer software is a lot more complex, and the Internet is, often, an hostile environment. Therefore, quite frequently, security holes in a popular piece of software are discovered, and must be fixed by the software maker, through updates.

    The most important example is the operating system itself, in this case Windows. It's vital that you keep it updated, since most attacks take advantage of security flaws that have been already fixed in the latest updates. In particular, some spyware installs itself through those flaws.

    The easiest method is, simply, to have automatic updates enabled. This way, Windows periodically "talks" to Microsoft, and automatically installs new updates as they become available.

    The most recent Windows versions have automatic updates enable by default, which is a good thing. However, many users, without realizing the need for updating your system, disable automatic updates for some reason. It's important to check if they're active, and, if not, they should be.

    The simplest way to do it, and which works with the various Windows versions, is to go to Windows Update (with Internet Explorer - here, and only here, you have to use it). One of the initial pages there tells you whether you have automatic updates enabled or not, and tells you how to enable them if they're not.

    3.Do not install "dubious" software
    This suggestion will, at first, seem ambigous - after all, what makes something "dubious"?

    In this case, there are three possibilities:

    1. legitimate software which was tampered with, altered, to include something dangerous
    2. something dangerous, which pretends to be legitimate software (think of it as "having a false label")
    3. software which is dangerous itself

    In the first two cases, the way to avoid trouble is simple: only install software downloaded from the maker's site, or from official "mirrors", and not from other places (especially peer-to-peer networks).

    The third case is more complex, because the maker himself is dishonest. There isn't a "magical formula" to determine whether a piece of software is trustworthy or not, but the following tips may be useful:

    * the word "free", in this case, doesn't mean much. It may be really free and unencumbered, without "small print", or it may be "supported by advertising", which is usually a synonym of "includes spyware".
    * "open source" software is, usually, safe.
    * anything related to Internet Explorer (in particular, toolbars for it) is potentially dangerous. Besides, if you're following suggestion 1, you won't need any of that.
    * as a last resort, ask a more technically inclined friend about a piece of software you aren't sure about.


    Source: http://sites.dehumanizer.com/spyware/en/
     
  2. black_dust FrEaK-A-ZoId!!!

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2002
    Messages:
    18,284
    Likes Received:
    1
    4 - Stick with books, you get what you`re looking for without pops-ups or porn links, and no spyware :D


    I have to say my computer has been virus free for 2 years now, its water tight :D (Formatted once for unrelated reasons) Still water tight :D
     
  3. jaguarr Be Your Own Hero

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    43,569
    Likes Received:
    1
    5. Buy a Mac and then don't worry about it. :D

    jag
     
  4. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    6. Don't download porn
     
  5. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    word :up:
     
  6. Kable24 Member of the NRA

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Messages:
    12,858
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow 2 of the 5 MAC owners are on the Hype. What are the odds?
     
  7. PWN3R Instagram:@Mannie_Bothans

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2005
    Messages:
    20,221
    Likes Received:
    0

    :up: :up:
    LOL so true...
     
  8. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    LoL, no just 1 of the 5. I am # 6 when I get one. :D
     
  9. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    Word :up:
     
  10. Dope Nose Registered

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    3,332
    Likes Received:
    0
    pfft! why have the internet at all?
     
  11. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    I didn't say don't download porn ever! I said if you don't want spyware :up:
     
  12. War Lord Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    30,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    From what I've read the next internet explorer could pretty much take care of the problem, just about, once and for all.
     
  13. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    WHAT!:eek: IE is going to delete internet porn! NOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1
     
  14. jaguarr Be Your Own Hero

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2003
    Messages:
    43,569
    Likes Received:
    1
    What's your email address? I would like to send you some things. :D

    jag
     
  15. War Lord Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    30,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    Probably not, but anytime a program might get downloaded, knowingly or unknowingly, it will ask for permission to do so.
     
  16. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    I was just kidding WL ;) :D
     
  17. War Lord Registered

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2003
    Messages:
    30,667
    Likes Received:
    0
    There is no such thing as humour when you've paid $1,500 for a machine that can become a paperweight within two minutes.
     
  18. tzarinna Mamochka

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2006
    Messages:
    24,933
    Likes Received:
    312
    One more MAC user,oh how I love my powerbook.:)
     
  19. Da Docta Come On!

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Messages:
    12,019
    Likes Received:
    0
  20. BAH HUMBBUG! There's an invisible man

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Messages:
    9,679
    Likes Received:
    26
    BAH!!! BAH I SAY!
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice
monitoring_string = "afb8e5d7348ab9e99f73cba908f10802"