How to Avoid Spyware By Hottman Computers & Consulting Co www.HottmanComputers.com
What is Spyware • Software that gets installed on your PC that directs ad via pop-ups, collects information about where and what you do or buy on the Internet. Most of it is relatively benign but some are working on identity theft. • PC Magazine - Opting into Identity Theft http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1625608,00.asp • PC Magazine - Identity Theft: What, Me Worry? http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1522469,00.asp
Do I have spyware & what now! PC Magazine March 2, 2004 issue 11 Signs of Spyware http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1524266,00.asp Spy Stoppers http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1522489,00.asp great article that reviews some 14 different software packages.
Getting rid of spyware • Ad-Aware www.lavasoft.de • Instructions on web site www.hottmancomputers.com • Spybot Search and Destroy 1.3 (new version) www.spybot.info • Both free, found Ad-aware the most effective but often install both • Most often require manual removal from the registry • On occasion but rare, wipe the computer and reload everything new
How to avoid Spyware • PC Magazine has an article with the same title http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1522568,00.asp
Other things • Windows update • Automatically download critical • Only available WinME, Win2K, & WinXP • Win98 has an alert that needs to be installed. • Manually • From the Start button • Within Internet Explorer, Tools, Windows Update • Windows XP install all except • Microsoft Windows Journal Viewer • Microsoft .NET Framework
Additional items • Delete files in Windows Temp folder • Location differs depending on the operating system • C:\Windows\Temp • C:\documents and settings\username\localsettings\temp (hidden by default) • Created a shortcut that will dump these with one confirmation using the deltree.exe
Additional items • Delete Temporary Internet Files • Control Panel, Internet Options, General Tab, middle section is labeled Temporary Internet Files, click the Delete Files button, check the box labeled Delete all off-line Content • Also click the Setting button and change the Check for newer version to Every visit to the page, and change the Amount of disk space to use 100MB (this is a one time change)
Additional items • Spyware and viruses like to hide in the Windows Temp & in the Temporary Internet Files • By deleting these you may rid the PC of some of these. • Some are marked read only or in the case of XP will change the Rights so you can not delete them
Change browsers • InfoWorld Enterprise Windows “You know you’ve got a browser problem when…” http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/07/09/28enterwin_1.html • InfoWorld security adviser“Dropping Internet Explorer http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/07/16/29secadvise_1.html InfoWorld security adviser “The worm that wasn’t quite” http://www.infoworld.com/article/04/07/02/27secadvise_1.html
Choices • Are the Browser Wars Back?How Mozilla's Firefox trumps Internet Explorer. http://slate.msn.com/id/2103152/ • Mozilla organization http://www.mozilla.org/ • Mozilla • Firefox
Anti-Virus • Keep your anti-virus updated • Run a Live Update weekly • Definitions may be automatic • Product or other core part of the program will only be updated with a Live Update. • Symantec (Norton) & McAfee have attempted to detect spyware but so far what I’ve seen they are next to worthless.
Safe Computing • Has changed radically • You are not longer prompted before something installs on your computer. • Turn off ActiveX or use a different browser for searching • Banks and many others require Internet Explorer to access but than you know these sites and should be safe
“And Hey – Let’s be careful out there!” Hill Street Blues