It is important to protect individual privacy from a simple virus, Spybot Trojans and malicious programming code to the latest Spyware. All are meant to do one thing, record your movements, and reveal them to others so that they may use these actions against you.
Unsolicited commercial software is a program that gets installed on your computer that you never asked for, and which does something you probably don’t want it to, for someone else’s benefit.
This problem has grown enormously, and millions of computers are affected. Unsolicited commercial software can typically:
There are three major ways unsolicited commercial software can make its way on to your machine:
· Some freeware programs are ‘bundled’ with parasites, which are installed at the same time. The P2P file-sharing programs are notorious for this; in particular, iMesh and Grokster come with countless unwanted add-ons.
Often if you are careful to read the small print when you install the software it will warn you about this, and it is sometimes possible to opt out. So always read the license agreement when you install and don’t just click Next-Next-Next... but you still can’t be sure they’ll tell you.
· Many parasites load using Internet Explorer’s ActiveX installation option. When a web page includes a link to an ActiveX program, a window will appear asking the user wishes to execute it. If ‘Yes’ is clicked (or if IE security settings are set lower than normal so that it never even asks*), the software is allowed to run and can do anything on our computer, including installing parasites.
For this reason, you should never click ‘Yes’ to a “Do you wish to download and install...” prompt unless you are 100% sure you trust the publisher of the software, which might not be the publisher of the web site you are viewed — read the dialogue box very carefully.
Sometimes sites (or pop-up ads) try to fool you into clicking ‘Yes’ by stating that the software is necessary to view the site, or opening endless error windows if you click ‘No’, or claiming that the digital certificate on the code means it is safe. It means no such thing. ‘Microsoft Authenticode’, signed by companies like Verisign, means only that the company that wrote the software is the same as the company whose name appears on the download prompt — nothing more.
· Some of the really sleazy parasites, particularly homepage-hijackers and dialers, execute by exploiting security holes in Internet Explorer, ways of getting code to run that are not supposed to be possible, but are due to mistakes in the browser code.
You can do your best to guard against this by ensuring you have the latest updates and patches from Microsoft. Still, there are usually a handful of security holes that have not yet been corrected, so you can never be 100% sure you are safe.
One way of reducing your risk of exploitation is to go to Tools->Internet Options->Security and set the security level for the Internet Zone to ‘High’. (If no slider is visible, click ‘Default level to make it appear first.) Then set the security level for the Trusted Zone to ‘Medium’ and add the sites you use and trust to this zone; you may need to do this quite often as many badly-designed sites just won’t work in high-security mode.
An alternative solution for the IE problems is just to use a different web browser for everyday browsing and Internet Explorer only for sites you trust or those that stubbornly refuse to work with other browsers.
You can avoid the intrusion of attacks of spybot spyware and stop them from spying on your systems by using an anti spybot spyware utility that is available online, some of them are very basic, others are professional, well designed and impeccably programmed to ensure that spybot malware & spyware is removed from your machine. Also using a firewall can help reduce the error attacks at a considerable rate. If you don’t want people and shady companies to track you down, try using a spyware remover application available on line for spyware attacks. You can download the scanner for Free at the following:
Adaware Information: http://download.com.com/3000-2094-10045910.html?legacy=cnet
Spybot Information: http://www.safer-networking.org/
With their ability to scan your RAM, Registry, hard drives, and external storage devices for known data mining, advertising, and tracking components, these can easily rid your system of these tracking components, allowing you to maintain a higher degree of privacy while you surf the Web. They include improved Browser Hijacker detection, HOSTS file scanning, smart scan mode which improves speed and has been optimized to detect content at the root, and much more. Be aware that some ad-supported programs, such as GoZilla Free, will no longer function if you remove their ad modules.