If you are an active Internet user, then you probably know how nasty spyware can be. It manages to bypass your anti-virus, get installed, and then sets out to steal your personal data and make your computer slow. Most spyware infections are not as dangerous as viruses, but they can still do a lot of damage. There are programs, both free and paid, that can help you remove spyware, but it’s always best to prevent your PC from being infected. Here are a few tips that will help you:
- Don’t install little-known software – If you really want to stay away from spyware, you should never install little-known software, no matter how cool it sounds. Unfortunately, there are too many programs out there that are infected with spyware and are only designed to damage your computer. A good thing to do is to check user reviews before installing anything and download from websites like Softpedia.com that test all their download for spyware and adware presence.
- Don’t skip the EULA – Did you know that a lot of people actually agree to install spyware to their computers? You may laugh, but that’s often the case. Most of the time this happens because people don’t bother to read the EULA (End User License Agreement) and simply click on I Agree and install a piece of spyware or adware. That’s how some dishonest software publishers earn money and unsuspecting PC users become infected.
- Don’t download from suspicious websites – There are millions of websites that offer free software, video and music downloads. Some of them are legitimate and some are infested with viruses and spyware. That’s why it’s always good to download from the good guys and give illegal downloads a miss. If you are downloading a .rar or a .zip archive, always scan it with your anti-virus and anti-malware software before unpacking. Microsoft Security Essentials is a good free anti-virus and Malwarebytes’ is a great free anti-malware program. In addition to that, you can also use Spybot Search & Destroy for good measure.
- Use your common sense – This is an obvious tip. Nevertheless, a lot of people forget all about common sense when they are tempted with something. So if something sounds too good to be true, give it a miss and leave the website as soon as possible.
Follow these simple tips and you will stand a good chance of never getting infected by spyware, adware, or any other malware.