Malware, Spyware and Virus’s All Things Developed To Harm Your PC

by: Paul Cottam

How many people do you know that bought a PC that came with a limited virus package that have never paid for updates or have not even bothered to install and Anti Virus software on there PC,s at all

With all the Spyware and malicious Malware out the on the net now, especaily as most people now how broadband access and as a result most PC's are left connected to the internet for long periods or indefinitely the chances of a security threat is now very common

There are literally millions of computors out there connected to the internet with no antivirus sotware installed, many people simply cant afford to pay for the ever increasing cost of such software. Some even call for windows to come as standard with antivirus software built in, fortunatley there is an alternative that is FREE

When ever I am asked to help sort out a friend's PC, be it a simple windows problem or a complete reformat and reinstall of Windows. I always take along a CD with a few useful programs stored on disc. One is AV Antivirus from Grisoft, the next is Microsoft Antispyware now called Defender and the last is Swait a Anti Trojan and Bot Scanner/Remover all programs are FREE and so there is no excuse for not being protected at home

This is especially important if like me you have a home network that has several PC,s connected to it, one infected PC will infect all others on the network very quickly. Often malicious code can be downloaded very easily from the internet with even knowing, one of the main areas for infecting your PC with Spyware is by the use of file sharing software (P2P peer to peer networking) and some freeware which can often come bundled with Spyware that installs without informing you

This is especially important if you share your PC with other members of the household, or have other PC’s linked into your network as not everyone is as security concesious as yourself and guests etc often download and install stuff without thinking.

That new tool bar that they installed because it gave them more emoticons to use in there instant messenger or shopping helper starts to hijack your browser settings. Suddenly your home page changes and despite having a pop up blocker you get regular timed pop up windows, some Spyware like this can be so difficult to remover and occiosionall leads to a reinstallation of the operating software

One other necessity has to be a pop up blocker and my personal favourite has to be the Google tool bar as it allows you to use the full search facilities and block pop ups very effectively. Also effective in this area is the Yahoo tool bar which comes with some Antispyware features although I have never tested this function

Windows XP has some good security features in the Service Pack 2 download (SP2) and includes a Firewall that is simple but effective to use , I keep SP2 on a CD for any reformats that I have to do, as Microsoft is removing some of the downloads like this as it rolls back its support for older versions of windows

There is a great online tool from Norton that you can use to scan your PC for and security threats including virus's from Symantec Security Check page simply press the go button and let Symantec scan your PC for FREE

All in all theres really no excuse for not protecting your PC security and if we don’t the net will continue to drown in email virus’s and spam untill one day the whole internet will become clogged and ultimatley it will grind to a halt