Malware and Spyware – Risks to Internet Browsing

Malware and spyware are real threats for anybody using a computer that’s connected to the Internet. Malware is any program with a goal of infiltrating a computer without user knowledge of the disease with the intention to damage the machine, steal information, or simply be annoying to the user. Spyware is a specific type of malware that’s distinguished by the goal to steal personal information from an individual. Computer users need to take the offensive when it comes to maintaining their systems clean from illnesses while browsing the Internet. A blend of keeping the most recent patch levels on both Windows updates in addition to virus scan signature updates together with being vigilant in regards to the kinds of sites a user visits and makes themselves accessible will significantly reduce the probability of infection. Know how to delete spyware in these 4 powerful measures.

malware

Malware can be a huge threat to Internet users. Malware software presents itself in a lot of ways and oftentimes, it hurts a computer to the point where an individual just has to reload the operating system. The results can be:

  • Corrupted files
  • Stolen personal information such as credit card numbers, bank accounts, etc
  • Annoying pop-up ads a user remove
  • Software that can’t be uninstalled by conventional means
  • Passing the disease along to other users
How can an Internet user shield himself or herself? Preventing a malware infection on a computer takes a multilevel approach.

1. An individual needs to keep their computer unattended using the latest and greatest updates from both Microsoft in addition to their virus scanning manufacturer. Malware is frequently written to take advantage of a flaw in Windows that hasn’t been patched on the server computer or compromise a virus scan package that has out of date signatures installed. Keep a check on your Windows updates. The second Tuesday of every month is Microsoft’s patch Tuesday. They release new patches and security updates on this particular day via Windows Updates. Many computer users when they first obtain a computer will turn off the pesky notifications in the taskbar from Windows security center that informs them their virus scan or windows upgrades settings aren’t up to par. However, most users neglect to keep a check on the patch levels and signature amounts without reminders from their system. Should you change the settings in Windows Security Center, then ensure that you are diligent about checking the condition of your system and set up a virus scan.

2. Browsers play a massive part in online security when it comes to malware infections and other malicious applications. Microsoft has come a long way from Internet Explorer versions 5.5 and 6. Those browsers were literally filled with security holes. Things have been greatly improved upon with versions 7 and 8. Mozilla Firefox has also had to find its way through some security problems, but all in all, it’s been touted as a more secure browser than Internet Explorer. Make sure especially if you’re still running Windows XP to check your browser version. Windows Vista and Windows 7 come preloaded with versions 7 and 8 so you won’t need to worry about getting the old versions installed out of the box.

3. Install and maintain a respectable virus scan which can also search for and prevent malware infections. Most of us know of McAfee, Symantec, Trend-Micro, etc. If your computer came packed with a few of the above, be sure that you have a current subscription and your signatures are updating correctly. If you don’t need to pay for virus scanning software programs, there are a whole lot of really great free virus scans available. AVG and Avast are a few really great free scanners that don’t charge for home use.

4. Run a legitimate malware removal program at least once every week to be sure you’re not infected with something your virus scan might have missed. An excellent software bundle for this purpose is Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software. This program in its free form can scan for and eliminate infections.

5. Keep a check on your surfing habits. Many malicious software websites are coded to trick you into installing a seemingly valid software bundle that’s truly a malware program that hijacks your system. Never install software that you’re prompted to install from an unknown site even if it looks legitimate. Malware writers have become better and better at engineering their applications to be impeccably tough to distinguish from legitimate software packages. They might even be written to resemble an anti-malware program! Many users have installed malware as they were prompted their system was infected with malware and they had to click to set up an “antivirus” software that will clean their system. Don’t fall for this trick.

6. Keep a check on processes that are running on your computer in addition to software that’s starting up with the Windows boot. Microsoft’s SysInternals site is an excellent resource for Windows tools that assist with keeping your system clean from malware. Three highly recommended programs found that there are Process Explorer, Autoruns, and Process Monitor. These programs are terrific for taking a peek at what’s operating “under the hood” in Windows and can confirm procedures file signatures that help tremendously in determining if a procedure that looks legitimate is really malware. Ransomware can be a threat to your data, computers, and networks too.

The struggle against malware infections continues to rage with Internet users. Malware is a significant threat to our personal security and you have to go to great lengths to ensure personal computers linked to the Internet don’t become infected with malicious code. Having the correct tools is vital to maintaining a system clean. Also, being attentive and smart at all times while surfing goes a long way in preventing malware infection. It’s significantly easier many times to keep malware off your system than it is to eliminate it once it’s there.