To prepare for unwanted visitors. I just had a spyware scare, and I want to be better prepared next time. And sadly, I know there will be a next time, because even the best-prepared people get burned on occasion. What can you do?
1. Back up files you work with regularly on a very frequent basis-- weekly is good, daily is not too often.
2. Use a recent Windows OS (like Vista or 7), or use a Linux OS instead of a Windows OS. You can also get a Mac, although it looks like hackers are finally starting to take an interest in Macs.
3. Use an up-to-date browser, and use something other than Internet Explorer if possible.
4. Run anti-virus software, and set it to receive automatic updates from the manufacturer.
5. Always save files you are downloading- never click “Install”. Then scan with your security software prior to installation.
6. Never click on pop-ups/links that suddenly appear on a web page you are using. Click out using the X in the upper right corner of your browser.
7. Don’t recognize the sender of an email, or is there something odd about the subject line? Trust your intuition-- delete it right now.
8. If there’s a link in an email-- even one from a sender you trust-- it’s safer to go to the web and use a search engine to connect with that site. A clever spammer/hacker can use a legitimate looking email link to send you to a look-alike site.
9. Have a rescue CD and several different free anti-virus programs on CD or flash drive that you can run if your PC becomes infected.
Spybot Search & Destroy
AVG Rescue CD
FREE ANTI-VIRUS PROGRAMS that will run safely alongside major commercial security suites like MacAfee, Norton, etc.:
Clam AV for Windows
STAND-ALONE FREE AV PROTECTION:
Avast Free Anti-virus
Panda Cloud Anti-Virus
Microsoft Security Essentials