Avoid Viruses, Spyware, Adware and Trojan Horses

Author: V. Dimov

WWW stands for Wild Wild West, right?

Let's say you are checking your bank account online and there is this dormant piece of spyware somewhere deep inside the jungles of your windows directory. The moment you enter the user name and password, this little nasty spy picks the data and sends it back to its master who can be an identity thief. Scary isn’t it?

As always, in medicine and in everyday life, the best way is prevention rather than treatment. You can make your PC bulletproof against those nasty Internet invaders by installing just 3 programs. Think of them as knights-protectors of your computer castle.

1. Firewall. This is not an antivirus program. A firewall stops Trojan horses and other invaders from infesting your computer. It also prevents spyware programs installed on your computer to report back by sending information online. Actually you choose which programs can access the Internet so nothing is hidden here. A very good free program is ZoneAlarm. Another alternative is Comodo Firewall Pro 3.

2. Antivirus program. Good free programs are Avast and AVG Antivirus.

3. Spyware/adware detector. The most popular and easy to use is AdAware. There is only one letter difference between adware and AdAware but it's crucial. The free Windows Defender may be the best option for most users.

You will be much more relaxed and able to enjoy your online experience if you have these 3 soldiers on your side in the quest to conquer the Wild Wild West - the Internet that is.

To summarize:
1. Firewall - ZoneAlarm (free)
2. Antivirus - Avast (free)
3. Spyware detector/removal - Windows Defender (free)
4. CCleaner is a freeware system optimization and privacy tool. It removes unused files from your system - allowing Windows to run faster and freeing up valuable hard disk space. Download and read reviews from C|Net.

You can download the free programs form Download.com. Actually they top the list for most downloaded utilities. Downloading and using them is perfectly legal for personal use. You can buy Norton Internet Security online or from almost any store with computer related products.

6 Basic Steps to Secure Your Computer. MichaelWales.com, 07/2007.
What average Internet users can do to ensure their security? - CNet.com
Threat Assessment - Beware these Internet bad guys - PC World.com
It's Time to Update Your Internet Security Arsenal - PC World
Download Comodo Firewall Pro 3 - The Best Personal Firewall. Digital Inspiration, 11/2007.
The Best Free Software for Windows. Digital Inspiration, 12/2007.
Useful Free Software for Windows Security and Maintenance, 2006.

Free Security Software. PC Magazine, 05/2008.

Created: 01/12/2004
Updated: 05/12/2008

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