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31 December 2007

6 Tips to Stop Spywares and Adwares

Every now and then one of my friends or family members tell me that he has got a Spyware or Adware on his PC, and asks me what to do. There are many free Antispywares out there, but in fact they never succeeded in helping those guys. Antivirus vendors are mocking us by claiming that Viruses and Spywares are two different things, I think they keep saying so just because their Antivirus softwares are not able to remove Spywares.

Here you are 6 tips to protect yourself from Spywares, Adwares, etc. In fact I cannot see any difference between Spyware and Adwares so I'll call them all from now on Crapwares.

1. Beware of Toolbars et al:
I have to put this as number one, Crapwares are always hidden inside Browser Toolbars, Screen Savers, Games, and MSN Plugins. For the love of God, please do not install such crap on your PC's. Away from the Spywares, please tell me what's the point of downloading a freak toolbar in your browser to make it look ugly and crowded, and what's the point of installing a plugin in your MSN or Yahoo Messenger to tell you who has blocked you, let those who block you go to hell.

2. FOSS instead of Free:
We all hate to pay money for Software's. But instead of looking for Free softwares, search for Open Source ones. Open Source Softwares are free but their code is published as well for anyone to see it. It's almost impossible to hide Crapwares in them. Linus Trovalds believes that Software is like Sex, it's meant to be free. And let me add here, it's like Sex, you cannot sleep with someone without knowing what she is hiding under her clothes.

3. A Firewall and a good Antivirus are your Shields:
As I said before, an Antivirus is not the best cure for Crapwares, but an extra layer of security will not hurt you. And most of the time, Crapwares need to connect to their mother ship every now and then to get themselves updated, so a Personal Firewall may not stop them from infecting you but it will stop them from getting updates and morphing in Crappier-wares.

4. Beware of malicious sites:
But wait a minute, how can we identify malicious sites? Ok, McAfee decided to do this for us freely. You can just download their SiteAdvisor Plugin, and every time you search for something in Google or Yahoo or visit a certain web site, it will mark safe sites in green and malicious ones in red.

5. Firefox instead of IE:
Internet Explorer, or sometimes known as Internet Exploder, it the dominant browser out there, So Crapwares creators and malicious sites tailor their softwares for it, so why not use a better yet not very dominant browser such as Firefox or Opera. I know this is somehow Security through Obscurity, but believe me it helps sometimes.

6. Pop-ups are bad:
Sometimes, pop-up windows try to deceive you by making themselves look like Windows warning messages and claim that you PC is infected or not healthy. They may ask you to click on a certain link in order to fix this problem. So, please beware of those evil pop-ups. I know, that sometimes normal use pop-ups, so it's hard to ask you to totally block pop-up, but what I normally do here is to block them by default and allow them only on the sites I trust.

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