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Why do we get virus related problems
even though we
have an anti-virus installed?
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:
1. Don’t click on links within pop-up
windows. Pop-up windows are often a product of spyware. Clicking on
the window may install spyware on your computer. Instead, close
these windows by clicking on the “X” icon in the title bar and not
on the “close” link within the window.
2. Choose “no” when asked
unexpected questions. Be wary of unexpected dialog boxes asking
whether you want to run a particular program or perform another type
of task. Always select “no” or “cancel,” or close the dialog box by
clicking the “X” icon in the title bar.
3. Be wary of free
downloadable software. Free is not free when malware installs on
your computer. Many sites offer customized toolbars or free
downloads (screensavers, background images, music files, other free
downloads). These sites often use spyware. Viruses can even be in
pictures you download and save to your computer. Don’t download
programs or images from sites you don’t trust. Another very common
way of getting malware infections is the use of P2P software such as
Vuze, Kazaa, Morpheus, or any type of torrent (used for downloading
music, TV and movies).
4. Don’t follow email links claiming to
offer anti-spyware software. Like email viruses, the links may serve
the opposite purpose and actually install the spyware it claims to
be eliminating. Never trust emails with links to security updates.
5. Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do
not respond to email solicitations for this information. This
includes following links sent in email.
6. Use the latest
browser. Microsoft Internet Explorer is the main built-in browser on
most computers and it needs to be updated every few months. This can
easily be done with Windows Updates.
7. Adjust your browser
security settings for Internet zone to medium (or higher). If your
browser security settings are set too low, you can get spyware just
from visiting a web site. Make sure your browser security setting is
at least at medium in order to prevent spyware from getting
installed when you browse the Internet. Read:
www.cert.org/tech_tips/securing_browser/ for details.
8. Be wary
of opening random attachments or links even if it’s from friends or
family and especially if it’s supposed to be something funny.
Viruses can sometimes read a whole address book and email everyone
on it. If the wording of the message doesn’t sound like your friend
or family member, call or email them and ask if they really sent it.
If in doubt, have an anti-virus program scan the file before you run
9. Don’t download special media players. Streaming media
websites might seem harmless, but watching or listening to streaming
media may mean downloading a special media player that could contain
10. Adjust your browser preferences to limit pop-up
windows and cookies. Pop-up windows are often generated by scripting
or active content (client-side script: a small program that is
attached to HTML documents and run (executed) on the user's browser
while viewing said document.).
11. Beware of phishing schemes. A
phishing scheme starts when you receive an email from a website
claiming to be your bank or credit card company. You are asked to
click a link and log in, but the truth is that you’ve just given
away all of your personal information. Often, when you visit these
sites, spyware, adware and viruses are automatically installed on
your computer. Your lender or credit card company will often send
out a real notice that lets you know that a phishing scheme is going
around. The smartest thing you can do is to simply call your bank or
credit card company if you receive an email saying there is a
problem with your account instead of blindly following links in your
12. Beware of fake anti-virus software. There are dozens
of anti-virus and anti-spyware programs you can download for free on
the Internet and a surprising number of them actually do exactly the
opposite of what they claim. The product websites make outrageous
claims that their product can protect you from a whole range of
threats, when, in reality, their product installs malware on your
machine. Only download antivirus programs from trusted sites or from
websites that you know are completely legitimate.
How do you know
if there is spyware on your computer? The following symptoms may
indicate that spyware is installed on your computer:
1. you are
subjected to endless pop-up windows
2. you are redirected to web
sites other than the one you typed into your browser
unexpected toolbars appear in your web browser
4. new, unexpected
icons appear in the task tray at the bottom of your screen
your browser's home page suddenly changed
6. the search engine
your browser opens when you click "search" has been changed
certain keys fail to work in your browser (e.g., the tab key doesn't
work when you are moving to the next field within a form)
random Windows error messages begin to appear
9. your computer
suddenly seems very slow when opening programs or processing tasks
(saving files, etc.)
604-318-1035 Abbotsford, BC.
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