Documentation in this section covers methods used to prevent adware, spyware, viruses and other malware.
Malware prevention requires all computer users to educate themselves, make some system configuration changes, operate malware prevention programs, avoid spam, and utilize basic computer security measures.
System Configuration Changes
There are several system configuration change recommendations that will improve the security of many computer systems. Some of these include:
- Using an browser other than Internet Explorer when surfing the internet until the security record of Internet Explorer improves.
- Changing your Internet Explorer settings to make the browser less vulnerable to being compromised if an attack occurs. See the article Making Internet Explorer More Secure for more details.
- Changing your system to show file extensions for known file names which is contrary to Microsoft’s default setting. See the page How to Configure your Windows System to Show File Extensions All the Time for more details.
One of the best defenses against malware intrusion is user education. All users should be wise to the traps on the internet and should have a basic knowledge about how their computer operates. This will help them spot potential pitfalls and avoid them.
Operate Malware Prevention Programs
You should run at least one antivirus product on your computer. You should also operate at least one anti-spyware/adware product on your computer.
Many experts recommend that computer users operate more than one malware prevention program for viruses and spyware/adware. This is a good idea but its effectiveness depends on the product. For example some anti-virus programs will use more than one method to identify viruses. If you are using a product like this, depending on its quality, it may not be worth using a separate product at the same time.
You should also use a personal firewall on your computer which will:
- Help prevent internet worms which attack using a vulnerability in your operating system or another program running on your computer.
- Prevent adware or spyware from contacting their creators without permission from you.
- Prevent malware from downloading other nasty programs without your permission.
It is wise to avoid spam since it can contain malware which may use vulnerabilities in your email program, default web browser, or other programs to infect your computer. So you should guard your email address carefully and possibly run spam management or spam prevention software. You may want to subscribe to a spam prevention service.
Products to Use
Unfortunately, due the the state of the internet today, it is necessary to run several types of products to secure your computer. Many makers of these products are creating ones that perform multiple functions such as personal firewall and anti-virus tools being bundled together, however there is much progress to made in this area that may happen in the next few years. Products to help secure your computer that should be oerated today include:
- Personal Firewall
- Anti-Virus program
- Spyware and Adware Prevention and Removal program
- Anti-spam product or service to prevent, block, and/or manage spam.
- Intrusion detection tools – Tools that can give you some indication whether your computer has had an unauthorized program or person accessing it.