Problem: How do I prevent my computer from getting spyware?
Solution: Spyware can be a difficult thing to prevent, but with a few steps you can prevent your system from being hit by spyware as often.
- Watch what you download. Shareware/freeware programs and P2P programs like Grokster, Imesh, Kazaa come with an enormous amount of bundled spyware that will eat yourcomputer's resources, slow down the system, or crash the browser or Windows itself.
- Go to Internet Explorer > Tools > Windows Updates. Then select Product updates and install all Security Updates listed. It is imperative to keep current with all the latest security fixes from Microsoft. Install patches for Internet Explorer. Also, visit http://Java.SUN.com and make sure that your Java Virtual machine is updated. An obsolete version of the Java Virtual Machine can allow spyware to enter.
- From the Control Panel, open Internet Options. Click on the Security tab. Click the globe labeled Internet. Press the Default Level button, then click Apply. Now press the Custom Level
button. In the Active X section, set the first two options, (Download
signed and unsigned Active X controls) to Prompt. Set "Initalize and
script ActiveX controls not marked as safe" to Disable.
Windows will now prompt to install and run active X controls.
Install Spyware scanners such as Lavasoft's Adware 6.0 www.lavasoft.de or SpyBot's search and destroy www.downloads.com. These are excellent products that will scan your system for spyware. For a more complete spyware protection system, read the article Preventing Spyware Problems.