Your mission: Keep the spies out. Protect your identity on your computer from online prying eyes.
Easier said than done, right?
Prelude: Enter the computer world, communication riches, email and files to write and share. A carefree digital environment, or is it?
Scene 1: Unbeknownst to you, there are nasty little software programs out there bent on slowing, disrupting, and stopping you. Some are trackers, mining and grabbing information about you, breaking and entering into your digital domain like a thief in the night. Everyday problems like these, left unchecked or unnoticed will ruin your day, trash your computer, and may even harm your well-being. Spyware collects information about you, may be innocent marketing, but can turn ugly or malicious from many different angles.
- Mysterious computer performance slowdowns even when with a few programs running.
- Broadband connection with a slow dial up performance.
- Computer sending information without your awareness.
- Ending up in web sites you didn’t intend to be in.
Scene 2: They are everywhere. Bad, lurking viruses and software on computers you caught while shopping from reputable companies, blogs, and downloadable sites.
- Runs silent and runs deep in your computer, often undetectable and almost never an executable file.
- You let them in by setting your internet browser to accept “cookies”.
- Can be undetectable to anti-virus software and invisible to firewalls.
Scene 3: “They” are in your computer. Clues abound and you need to know what they are. Like a nasty cold coming on, things are changing on your computer.
- A barrage of pop-up ads.
- Browser hijacked---a you end up somewhere else other than what you typed in the address box.
- Sudden changes in your Internet Homepage
- New and unexpected toolbars
- New icons on system tray at bottom of computer
- Keyboard keys that don’t respond
- Random error messages
- Sluggish, s-l-o-w performance when opening files and programs
- Anything unusual or atypical
Bottom Line: It’s not entirely hopeless and it is curable. You can beat the electronic infection with very little money and not much computer knowledge.
Steps, Remedies, and prescription to lower your risk:
- Update your operating system and web browser software.
- Download free software only from sites you know and trust.
- Don’t install any software without knowing exactly what it is. Clue: Read the End User license agreement.
- Make sure your browser security setting is at least “medium” and keep it updated.
- Don’t click on any links within pop-up windows. If you do so, you may install Spyware---instead, close pop-up windows by clicking on “X” icon on the title bar.
- Install a personal firewall to stop uninvited guests from accessing your computer.
Zap’em dead in their tracks! Declare victory. Here is your Prescription for suspect Spyware:
- Get an anti-Spyware program from a vendor you know and trust.
- Set it to scan your computer at least once a week, preferably at computer start up.
- Consider deleting any detected software program you don’t want on your computer
Ok---what are you waiting for? You could already be a victim of Spyware even as you read this!
Copyright © 2007 Myles Saulibio