Real Solutions for Battling Spyware
You know the signs: sluggish computer performance, a barrage of pop-ups, altered homepage and security settings, and even theft of private information. You've got spyware. But how did it happen?
The fact is that computer users play a crucial role in their own security. Exercising caution and being aware of the dangers that lurk on the Internet are key in ensuring that users can safely navigate ever-increasing online threats.
Many exploits count on user error or curiosity; they use bait like eye-catching titles and links to draw in unsuspecting users. These attacks succeed only because people are unaware of the threat, or do not perceive it as a real danger to their security.
Belgian IT security professional Dider Stevens recently performed a "social experiment" where he ran an ad offering users the chance to infect their computers with malware, and more than 400 people clicked on the link.
While the site in the malware experiment contained no malware, similar methods are used by hackers to tempt users into visiting sites containing viruses and malware in order to infect PCs.
While malware trends continue to evolve, the rapid growth rate remains a constant.
Knowing how to steer clear of threats is essential in keeping your computer secure. What can you do to keep spyware and malware from your PC? To start with, follow the tips below.
By the end of 2008, there will be more than one billion personal computers in use worldwide. Forrester Research Inc. predicts that the number of PCs in use will more than double by 2015. It took 27 years to reach the billion-PC mark, but it will take only five years to reach the next billion, due to advanced technology, lower prices, and emerging technology-aware populations.
Source: Forrester's "Worldwide PC Adoption Forecast to 2015"
Term of the Month
An End User License Agreement, or EULA, is a software license agreement that indicates the terms for an end user to utilize certain software. That fine-print legal jargon that makes you want to check the box next to, "Yes, I have read and accept these terms," without fully reading the text, is an official agreement between you and a software vendor.
It is important to read all EULAs and privacy statements carefully before installing new software. If the EULA is hard to find or difficult to understand, reconsider installing the software. You should never install software without knowing exactly what it is. By not fully reading the EULA, you may agree to questionable activities by the software vendor, and even to installing spyware and adware on your computer. The Zlob/Smitfraud Trojan (fake codecs most notably) actually DOES include proper disclosure of what will be downloaded to your PC. Take the time to read EULAs carefully!
WiredSafety.org is the world's largest online safety, education and help group. Adults can visit the site for information on safely navigating the World Wide Web, and there are also specialty directories designed for kids. While it originally formed to help and protect Internet users of all ages, Wiredsafety.org's work has become increasingly dedicated to children, tweens, and teens.