3 Simple Steps to Stay Safe from Spyware

There are several basic concepts to keep in mind when deciding to stay spyware free for good. This article will outline a spyware checklist for you to keep in mind when getting tough on spyware and taking back control of your computer using two popular free applications, Ad-Aware,and Spybot - S&D. Using these two programs in conjunction will eliminate a vast majority of spyware problems from your computer. For the purposes of this article, "spyware" refers also to adware, malware, and other not-so-nice "features" of today's computing reality.

These are some tell-tale warning signs that your computer may be suffering from spyware-

· You receive many pop-ups

· Your computer is running slowly

· You may have invasive toolbars hijacking your browser

· Your home page may have been hijacked

Your first step to escaping spyware's wrath is to download and run Ad-Aware and Spybot - S&D, the two leading spyware fighting tools out there, boasting millions of downloads each. Please remember it's always safest to backup your system before installing a new program or executing one. After downloading the two programs, be sure to run the update feature to be sure they are current when it comes to detecting the latest threats. Remove the detected spyware using these two programs, then move to step two.

The second step in staying spyware free involves you to be proactive. At this point your computer should be free from spyware. What you want to do now is keep it this way, to do that there are helpful tips to guide you. In Windows 98 you can use msconfig to view the startup programs on your computer. This is helpful because you can control what programs automatically load when you boot your computer. To access this invaluable tool, go to START >> RUN, type MSCONFIG. If you check the startup programs occasionally you may see a new spyware entry that will alert you it's time to clean out the spyware again.

The third step involves your web browsing habits. It means you must never click on an activex screen that asks you if you want to allow an innocuous looking toolbar, or "surfing aid"be installed. By clicking "allow" you are effectively giving these perfidious spyware authors free reign over your system and personal information. If possible you should surf with the security settings on "maximum" for safest surfing.

In summary, it's important to avoid spyware for your computer and personal identity health. To do so, use free tools available to you and be mindful of your computer settings and surf the Internet responsibly. Following these easy steps will ensure a safe and spyware free existence for you and your computer!

Written by Erich Bihlman, of Bihlman Consulting - PC and Internet Tutoring and Website Design in Prescott, Arizona. Bihlman.com. For additional helpful articles visit IQZone

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