Friday, February 24, 2006

4 ways how to fight spyware

Before making a decison on which anti-spyware program to purchase, it is a good idea to make four important steps which are sure to harden the life for spyware developers.

First, a PC connected to Internet should have a firewall installed and adequately configured. Default options are good most times, but not efficient enough against smart spyware (which is smart by its nature). Leave only those ports open which are used by applications you run. It is good to make sure that if an application doesn't require incoming connections, than it is not allowed to receive ANY data from Internet.

Second, an advanced PC user always takes precautions when installing any free software (which very often includes spyware stuff); to possibly avoid future troubles, it is advisable to check the setup file with an anti-virus (supplied with latest signature updates).

Third, when surfing, be careful about ActiveX Controls trying to install themselves. ActiveX is a well-known and extremely widespread way of distributing spyware and viruses. Before installing any ActiveX component, make sure it is signed by software developer you trust (say, Microsoft or Adobe, if you trust them). Software giants are unlikely to push spyware onto your hard drive.

Finally, try to avoid websites with warez-related content, they are notorious for secretly installing tons of spyware modules on computers. Sure, these steps are NOT enough to stay safe and secure. They are very helpful, but they do not armour your PC against unwanted guests.

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