Adware Prevention

The best method for dealing with Adware is to avoid and prevent it. Here are some guidelines that will help you prevent adware.

Browsing the Internet Safely

  • Either use a browser other than Internet Explorer or change your Internet Explorer browser settings to make it more secure to use. For more information and to see how to make the changes see the article Making Internet Explorer More Secure.
  • Be very careful before downloading and installing any programs from the internet. Check your favorite search engine such as Google (and the Google groups section) to be sure other people are not having problems with it. If many people in group discussions are trying to remove the software, it is not likely to be safe. Read installation licensing and terms carefully. It may indicate whether other software is required to come with the program you want to install.
  • Avoid going to sites that may have questionable reputations, especially sites with an excessive amount of advertising popups. This will help prevent an accidental clicking on a popup which has been known to infect some systems.
  • Be careful about potentially malicious hyperlinks. Malicious hyperlinks are web links that look like they will take you to a particular site such as ebay.com but in they will actually take you to another site. Manually type the address of the site you want to go to rather than clicking on the link in an e-mail.

Use Caution when Opening Email

  • Configure your system to show file extensions all the time. This will help you see if someone sends you a file with a deceptivename such as mytrickfile.txt.exe. This will make it more difficult for someone to trick you into running an executable file when you think it is a text file. Read How to Configure your Windows System to Show File Extensions All the Time for details.
  • Only open email attachments when you are sure the sender is really who it appears to be. See the page called Email Practices to Prevent Viruses and Spam.
  • When using Outlook or Outlook Express, turn of the preview pane in the inbox. This can prevent some vulnerabilities in Outlook or Outlook Express from being exploited by hostile emails.

Use Spyware Prevention and Anti-Malware Tools

  • Use some spyware/adware prevention software. See the Adware/Spyware Prevention Tools section for lists of this type of software.
  • Use antivirus software and configure it to download updates daily (this is also listed as a security practice).

Follow Security Practices

  • Follow standard security recommendations. These recommendations are made by the experts for good reason and all internet users have the responsibility to take reasonable security precautions in order to prevent persons with evil intent from using their computer as a mechanism to attack others. Some of these recommendations include:
    • Use antivirus software and configure it to download updates daily.
    • Use a personal firewall at all times when connected to the internet. Update it periodically.
    • Update your system with security patches often. Updating Windows Systems provides more information.

    See the article at Basic Computer Security for more information about security practices.

Educate Yourself

  • Learn about how viruses spread on the internet. The page called How Viruses Spread explains more.
  • Make yourself wise to internet hoaxes. The page called Internet Fraud and Hoaxes gives some basic information about various types of hoaxes.
  • Learn the basics about how your computer works so you are not easily fooled. The Computer Technology Documentation Project’s Basic Computer Section is a good source of information in this area.
  • To keep your data confidential, learn when information is sent in plain text on the internet. Learn what HTTP vs HTTPS means in the page about Passwords.
  • Learn why certain inconvenient password policies are necessary at the Passwords page.
  • Learn how to choose strong passwords by reading the article called Choosing Passwords.