Over the past six months, the spyware problems infiltrating both Windows XP and Vista has become almost mythical. Spyware is the junk that gets into your computer and slows it down, prevents antivirus software from doing its job, halts Windows updates, can disable your CDROM and/or USB drives, and much more. The vast majority of it turns out to be self-induced. By self-induced, I mean that the user willingly downloaded ring tones, free music, free wallpaper, screensavers, registry cleaners, or other junk software. Even with the best security software on the planet installed on your computer system, agreeing to install junk software circumvents your security and the problems begin.
How can you prevent it? First start by protecting your system properly with the tools I have listed on every page here at HelpMeRick.com. You will find them in the right hand column in the section marked Security. Next, you extreme caution when downloading software from the Internet. Just because it is cute, snuggly, or free doesn’t mean it won’t harm your computer. Limit your downloads to trusted web sites like download.com, ZDnet, PCWorld, etc. And when in doubt, don’t do it, and ask first!
Lastly, please use Mozilla Firefox as your main web browser. About five or six or years ago when I discovered Firefox, I suggest you use it because it is fast, customizable and fun. Then as spyware started taking over machines everywhere because of vulnerabilities in Internet Explore, I recommended that you use it. Starting today, I’m on the verge of requiring that all my clients use Firefox as their main browser. Or, at the least switch to Opera or Google Chrome. As I mentioned earlier, it can’t stop the spyware completely, but it certainly will help.
Notice how exempted Mac and Linux users from this conversation….