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MOREnet security tip: battling spyware

Originally published in MOREnetworking Vol. 2 No. 4, Sept. 2005

Spyware is one of the greatest threats to computer security on networks around the world. Spyware is software that is installed on your computer and then serves ads to your computer without your permission, or in some way monitors your browsing or e-mail habits and sends that information to a server to be used to send additional ads. The best way to fight spyware is to keep it from being installed. Here are some tips to keep spyware off of your computer:

  • Don’t click on links within pop-up windows
  • Select “no” if you are asked unexpected questions while browsing
  • Avoid downloading free software, especially toolbars that offer to “enhance” your browsing or e-mail experience
  • Avoid clicking links in e-mail, especially ones that offer to remove spyware
  • Never automatically install Active-X components you didn’t specifically request
  • Avoid websites that offer free games, screen savers, music, lyrics, peer-to-peer programs and pornographic sites

Many anti-virus applications now detect and remove spyware. However, if you suspect that your computer has spyware, several programs will assist in removing that software, including Microsoft AntiSpyware, LavaSoft Adaware, Webroot SpySweeper, PestPatrol and Spybot Search and Destroy.

Learn more about security at www.more.net/security.

hendersonl | Thursday, September 1, 2005 | |

 

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