When it comes to malware, you can normally avoid installing any undesirable software by practicing safe surfing and Internet usage. When there are no guarantees, if you follow these simple steps, you should be able to prevent the majority of malware threats on the net.
1. Be Sure to Clean Before You Begin.
Malware can make your online life a living hell, serving you hundreds of popup ads, slowing down your system to a crawl and spreading itself to your friends, coworkers, and family via your email list.
Occasionally, but the most dangerous kinds of malware are the dangers that creep onto your computer quite insidiously that you don’t even know are there. In actuality, you might have a piece of spyware onto your computer right now that’s faithfully recording every keystroke that you make and sending your passwords, usernames and browsing history back to its owner on the opposite side of the world — and you would never know that anything was wrong.
The best way to check that your system is clean of malware is to run a scan using a respectable anti-malware software solution. Even if you don’t purchase the software, you should run a scan independent of any security tools which are on your computers, like antivirus and antivirus solutions.
You may download the simplest to use anti-malware scanner available now at no cost along with an easy to follow manual from the Malware Threat HQ site.
2. Know It Before You Install It.
Most frequently malware is found either packed up using free software (as is in the case of adware) or embedded on a page, video or mp3 file. The simplest way to prevent malware is to just understand the origin of this software, image, URL or file that you’re contemplating accessing. Frequent examples of applications that malware piggybacks on top of are P2P downloaders, instant messenger add-on packs, screensavers, games and lookup tools. Follow these tips before downloading any software title or document on your PC – even if it’s been recommended to you by a friend or relative:
Can you trust the source of the software, URL or file? Avoid downloading software without seeing the website first. If you can, download applications from big websites like microsoft.com or download.com which are certified to be malware free.
Do other men and women trust the software, URL or file? Do a Google search on a software name before you download it. Pay particular note of online forums – if other individuals have been scammed, you will make certain there will be a word about it on the Internet!
Be wary of any offers which are’too good to be true’. Believe me: these offers are.
Be cautious of ‘brief’ URLs that redirect you to an unknown website. Always use a “un-shortening” service to look at the true intended URL. Be especially conscious of short URLs within IM messages, found on social networking websites and delivered by unidentified accounts on Twitter.
3. Whoa! Do not Click ‘Accept’ Yet!
Before you set up a new app or enroll for a new online account, you are almost always presented with a protracted user arrangement full of undecipherable ‘legalese’ phrases. These arrangements are designed to spell out the conditions of service and protect both the consumer and the programmer from any legal action resulting from the potential misuse of the program or account.
We have all been guilty of skipping past an End User License Agreement (EULA) by simply clicking on the “accept” button without reading the long-winded user agreement. Malware programmers are totally aware of this and often include terms that shield them from legal actions by telling you that you’re downloading a virus, adware or other PC bugs by installing their’free’ program.
The number one rule is straightforward. Read before you accept it. Pay special note of any phrases that indicate that by downloading the applications you authorize transmission of information to a third party.
A great free tool to use is the EULA Analyzer, located on the Malware Threat HQ site. While it’s no replacement for reading the EULA yourself, it will throw up any red flags which it locates.
4. Install a Firewall
A firewall is a program that limits the unauthorized transfer of information in and out of your computer. Firewalls are rarely installed as a standalone product nowadays, and the firewalls that are bundled with fully-featured Internet Security Suites are top-notch.
As soon as you’ve got a firewall installed, you will want to “train” it to allow certain programs to get to the Internet. By way of instance, any software package that has to be updated regularly will have to be excepted in the firewall’s rules. This may include Windows itself, Java, and some other Internet Security or antivirus tools you’ve installed on your computer.
The significant rule here is to simply authorize applications you know and trust.
5. Download Real-Time Anti-Malware Software in Your Computer (And Use It!)
While contemporary Internet Security suites do a better job of identifying malware risks, they’re still a long way from ideal. A better choice is to put in a real-time dedicated malware security software that will continually monitor your system and warn you of any potential threats before they install themselves onto your computer.
There are lots of options available – including dangerous’rogue’ anti-malware software titles, so select carefully. For a complete review of the best options available, please see the Malware Threat HQ site.
6. Utilize the Security Setting on Your Web Browser.
No matter the Internet browser that you use, you’ll have the ability to control the Internet security settings from inside the options in the menu system. You should always set your security settings to ‘Moderate’ or higher.
Browsers are constantly getting better, but some browsers are better than others. It’s often believed that using Internet Explorer opens you up to the best threat of malware infection (cyber-crooks just love Microsoft products!). In Malware Threat HQ we use and recommend Firefox by Mozilla for our Internet surfing. It’s an unbeatable collection of security features available as standard.
7. Keep Your Computer Updated.
Maintaining your critical programs current is absolutely crucial in preventing malware. The quantity of malware being produced daily means that in the event you don’t have upgraded software, you’ll be left in the dust and make yourself vulnerable to malware threats delivered by trojans and other viruses.
Of particular note, ensure that your Internet Security package, antivirus applications and any program created by Microsoft (such as Windows, Office, and Outlook) are updated frequently. Malware programmers love exploiting vulnerabilities in Microsoft applications and are constantly finding new ways of taking advantage of security flaws from the planet’s most popular software titles.
Additionally, your Internet Service Provider (ISP) may offer you security updates that you ought to always accept.
Be Cautious, But Don’t Be Scared.
Remember that malware can be harmful, it shouldn’t prevent you from doing what you need to do on the Internet. If you practice safe surfing, have a respectable security package and an anti-malware alternative installed and you frequently update your programs that are critical, you can usually avoid malware from ever being an issue on your computer.
Malware disease is remarkably widespread. Whether you think you might have been infected with malware, it’s ideal to practice to scan your computer regularly for malware threats. In Malware Threat HQ you can download the best malware scanner available on the Internet now — for free.
You will also find terrific articles, free tools and the tips that the pros use to keep their online identities secure. Additionally, be certain you register for the mailing list for even more great security hints.