How Can You Protect Your PC?

The Way to Protect Your Computer From Viruses/Spyware/Hackers

Since the Internet is a popular way of communication it’s necessary to protect your computer from viruses, spyware and hackers. Viruses can delete files, hackers may retrieve personal information you’ve got on your computer, advertisers can load programs that send and read them your passwords without your knowing, and sometimes someone can actually access your computer and delete documents which may render your computer unusable.

While the majority of those”behind the scenes” things that happens as you browse the Internet are targeted advertisements, demographic data collection, or pranks, you must be conscious of the possible problems and protect your PC. You can accomplish this by making sure you avoid programs that may install spyware without your knowledge, keep antivirus software installed and updated and maintain security and critical patches updates.

SPYWARE

What is Spyware?
Spyware (aka adware) refers to a category of software that, when installed on your computer, may send you pop-up ads, redirect your browser to specific sites, or monitor the sites that you visit.

How Do You Know if There’s Spyware on Your Computer?

These symptoms may indicate that spyware is installed on your computer:

  • You’re redirected to web sites aside from the one you typed into your browser.
  • New, unexpected icons appear in the task tray in the bottom of your screen.
  • The search engine your browser opens when you click on”search” has been transformed.
  • Certain keys don’t work on your browser (e.g., the tab key does not work when you’re moving to another field in a form).

How Do You Prevent Spyware from Installing on Your Computer?

To avoid inadvertently installing it yourself, follow these good security practices:

  • Because pop-up windows are often a product of spyware, clicking on the window can install spyware software on your computer.
  • To shut the pop-up window, then click on the”X” icon in the title bar rather than a”close” link within the window.
  • Choose”no” when asked unexpected questions – Be cautious of unexpected dialog boxes asking if you would like to run a specific program or perform another sort of task.
  • Always select”no” or”cancel,” or close the dialog box by clicking on the”X” icon in the title bar.
  • Be wary of free downloadable software – There are several websites that offer customized toolbars or other features that attract users.
  • Do not download programs from sites you do not trust, and understand that you might be exposing your computer to spyware by downloading some of these programs.
  • How Do You Remove Spyware?
    Run a full scan on your computer with your antivirus applications – a few anti-virus software will detect and eliminate spyware, but it might not find the spyware when it’s monitoring your computer.
  • Run a valid product specifically designed to remove spyware – Many vendors offer products that will scan your computer for spyware and remove any spyware program. Information Technology recommends using Spybot Search and Destroy. You may be unaware that you have gotten a virus and might be spreading it because a virus could be dormant until something causes its code to be executed. Many Internet users have had their computers crash from viruses which attached to e-mails (www.nassaulibrary.org/valleyst/Glossary.htm).

How Do You Know if There’s a Virus on Your Computer?
These symptoms may indicate a virus is installed on your computer:

  • You can’t open certain programs in your computer.
  • Your Internet browser starts acting weird (ie, unexpectedly closes, will not open in any way, not able to visit any sites, etc).
  • Get continuous system error messages that an important file is corrupted or missing.

How Do You Prevent a Virus from Installing on Your Computer?
To avoid inadvertently installing it yourself, follow these good security practices:

  • Be certain you have antivirus software installed on your computer.
  • Schedule weekly virus definition updates so that your software can catch the latest viruses.
  • Schedule weekly scans of your hard disks so the program can detect viruses before it infects your system.
  • Make sure automatic protection is enabled so the program is continually searching for viruses after you turn on your computer.
  • Be sure the program works with your email program so that it can quickly detect and prevent viruses in email attachments.
Posted in Antivirus.