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A Quick Guide for Eliminating Spyware and Hijacker Software

A Quick Guide for Eliminating Spyware and Hijacker Software - PCSTATS
Abstract: An unprotected computer used by a novice runs the risk of being infected mere minutes after a broadband connection to the Internet is formed.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Aug 06 2004   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Prevention: Scanning and Security

Step 4: Scan with Ad-Aware and Spybot weekly

Just because you haven't noticed your system acting oddly does not mean you are not infested with spyware. A weekly scan with either or both of the two most popular (and free) anti-spyware solutions will work wonders towards keeping your computing experience positive.

Step 5: Tighten Internet Explorer security

Internet Explorer is fairly secure by default, especially if you followed step 1 above. There are still a few loopholes that can allow malicious software like browser hijackers to take hold though. A couple of quick changes to the way IE handles web page data can make all the difference in preventing unwanted cargo getting stuck in your web. Alternatively, you can ditch Internet Explorer altogether and run Mozilla's browser.

To configure Internet Explorer for added safety:

Open Internet Explorer and go to 'tools\Internet options.'

Click on the 'security' tab.

First, ensure that the 'internet' zone is selected at the top, then click on the 'default level' button (if it is not already activated) and set the slider to 'medium.' The medium security level of Internet Explorer is mostly secure, but there are a few additional things we need to change.

Now click the 'custom level' button. Scroll down to the 'navigate sub-frames for different domains' setting and change it to 'prompt.'

Hit 'ok' and confirm the changes.

Now click the 'content' tab. If there are any entries here that you do not recognize, remove them. In fact, it's a good idea to remove all entries here as a matter of course. Anyone or any company with an entry here will be able to install software onto your system without requiring permission from a user.

Now go to the 'advanced' tab and scroll down until you find the 'enable install on demand (other)' entry. Uncheck this.

As an even more secure alternative, you can simply set the 'high' security setting under the 'security' tab, though this will cause problems viewing some webpages.

And finally: just be cautious!

A huge amount of spyware ends up on people's systems because they were not careful about what they were installing or where they were surfing. It seems obvious, but be careful what you do. Those windows that come up asking you if you want to install so-and-so software?

Read them before saying no, just to make sure you hit the right button. Downloading free software? Read the license agreement first, to make sure you are not giving permission for additional spyware to be installed. This sort of licensing is especially common in popular peer-to-peer products like Kazaa. If other people use your system, educate them on the dangers first. The shadier side of the Internet is crawling with loaded websites. These come equipped with nasties that will mess up your system if you let them. Just be careful.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  A Quick Guide for Eliminating Spyware and Hijacker Software
 Pg 2.  Fixing a tough spyware problem
 Pg 3.  Methods of Elimination, continued...
 Pg 4.  Preventing spyware and browser hijacking
 Pg 5.  — Prevention: Scanning and Security

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