In this edition we will be discussing
free anti-adware, anti-virus, anti-spyware and other utilities to make
your computer run more smoothly.

Sure, you’ve heard about
adware, spyware and computer virii, and no doubt you’ve experienced the
frustation that these little nasties can produce when they infest your
computer. But what can you do to protect yourself?

1. Don’t open
emails from people you don’t recognize. This is probably one of the
most common methods that virii and spyware spread. If possible, set
your email program settings so that they will not automatically
download images or run scripts. These things can either cause
infestation, or confirm to spammers that your email address is a
legitimate one.

2. Don’t use Internet Explorer. Most online
virii and spyware is designed to take advantages of security holes in
IE. There are plenty of other browsers out there that provide just as
good of a browsing experience(if not better). Here are links to a few
that are free for you to download and install:

Avoid clicking on pop up banners or other annoying advertisements as
you surf. These ads are often misleading and can trick you into
installing unwanted software on your computer.

4. Be weary of
emails you get promising SUPER deals, or emails claiming that an
account you have with your bank, Paypal or eBay is about to be closed
out if you don’t click on this link and update your profile. This is
usually a trick to get your account information. If you are concerned
that an account of yours is in poor standing, contact the company
directly by phone or from a website you know to be theirs.

Regularly update your operating system. Windows, MacOS, and Linux all
provide means to automatically update your system periodically. These
updates often fix security holes.

6. Regularly run an antivirus
program and make sure to schedule it to download recent virus
definitions. Here are a few free antivirus programs, but there are many
good ones to choose from that are reasonably priced, as well.

Spyware is software that gets onto your computer and monitors the sites
that you visit and can even log data you type in(like credit card
numbers!). The worst part is most antivirus softeware won’t remove it.
So it is also important that you regularly run spyware removal
software. Here are a few free alternatives:

So hopefully these tips will arm you for the war against spyware, adware and computer virii.

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