How to Prevent Spyware

Spyware is a crafty and insidious threat that can invade your privacy, bombard you with popups, slow down your computer, and even make your computer crash. To fight spyware takes patience and a little bit of time, however, with the right tools and a proactive approach to preventing spyware, you can keep on top of it.

Here are several ways you can help protect your computer against spyware and other unwanted software.

The first step in a great spyware line of defense is to use a firewall. While most spyware and other unwanted software come bundled with other programs or originate from unscrupulous websites, a small amount of spyware can actually be placed on your computer remotely by hackers. Installing a firewall can provide a helpful defense against the hackers and ultimately help you to prevent spyware from invading your computer.

The second step is to constantly keep your software updated. To effectively prevent spyware, you need to make sure that you have the latest and greatest editions, whether it be your firewall or antispyware software. Follow the directions to set teh software to automatically update itself. Third, adjust your Internet Explorer settings (or other Internet browser); only you can control how much or how little information you are willing to accept from a website.

Be suspicious when it comes to your email. Do not open spam or any email from people unknown to you or with an attachment that you are not expecting. Websites that are advertised in spam email can try and plant dialers or other types of pesky software on your computer.

Always use antispyware software to scan your computer. If you don’t already have it, go find it right now. I cannot tell you how critical this is in the quest to prevent spyware.

Finally, surf safely. The best way to prevent spyware is to not download it in the first place. Only download programs from websites that you know and trust. If you’re not sure of a program, do a Google search or ask a friend who is tech-savvy. Make sure you read all security warnings before running anything and never click ‘agree’ or ‘okay’ to close a window, always click the red x.

The fight to prevent spyware is as much an art as it is a course in being vigilant. Spyware can clog up your computer and slow it down to a snail’s pace; follow the above tips to keep your computer clear of unwanted junk.

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