Tutorials > Spyware - What you can do about spyware and other unwanted software > How to prevent spyware infecting your PC
How to prevent spyware infecting your PC
Spyware and other unwanted software can slow down your PC, invade your privacy, annoy you with pop-up windows and even make your computer crash! RSAWeb has seen all these things at clients and there are several ways you can protect your computer against spyware and other unwanted software.
Step 1: Update your software
If you use Windows XP, one way to help prevent spyware and other unwanted software is to make sure all your software is updated. First, visit Microsoft Update to confirm that you have Automatic Updates turned on and that you've downloaded all the latest critical and security updates.
Step 2: Adjust Internet Explorer security settings
You can adjust your Internet Explorer Web browser's security settings to determine how much—or how little—information you are willing to accept from a Web site. Microsoft recommends that you set the security settings for the Internet zone to Medium or higher.
To view your current Internet Explorer security settings:
If you're running Windows XP Service Pack 2 (SP2) and you use Internet Explorer to browse the Web, your browser security settings for the Internet zone are already set to Medium by default. Internet Explorer in Windows XP SP2 also includes a number of features to help protect against spyware and many other kinds of deceptive or unwanted software.
Step 3: Use a firewall
While most spyware and other unwanted software come bundled with other programs or originate from unscrupulous Web sites, a small amount of spyware can actually be placed on your computer remotely by hackers. Installing a firewall or using the firewall that's built into Windows XP provides a helpful defense against these hackers. To learn more about firewalls, read Why should you use a computer firewall
Step 4: Surf and download more safely
The best defense against spyware and other unwanted software is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don't want:
Step 5: Change to Firefox
Download firefox and use it instead of Internet Explorer. Firefox tends to be far more secure than Internet Explorer and is Open Source software.
Step 6: Download and install anti-spyware protection
Various antispyware software is available. RSAWeb suggests:
Note: RSAWeb is not responsible for the quality, performance, or reliability of third-party tools.
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