Spyware Protection

photo of a student using a laptopSpyware and adware are two of the most frustrating threats for computer users today. Spyware is software that watches your activities and collects personal data without your permission. Adware displays pop-ups and other forms of unauthorized advertising. Because these programs run in the background while you use your computer, they consume system resources and can slow down your PC significantly.

CaTS recommends that you use a combination of Lavasoft Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy on Windows computers to combat spyware and adware as well as other threats. Using these programs aggressively is the best thing you can do to keep your computer running efficiently. Visit the ConnectWright webpage to download these applications.

Windows Spyware Protection Tips

Aside from using Lavasoft Ad-Aware and Spybot Search and Destroy on Windows computers, there are other steps you can take to prevent spyware and adware.

  • Update your software.
  • If you are using Windows XP, one way to help prevent spyware and adware is to make sure all of your software is updated. You can visit Microsoft Update to make sure that you have Automatic Updates turned on and that you have downloaded all the latest critical and security updates.
  • Use a firewall.
  • While most spyware and other unwanted software come bundled with other programs or originate from unscrupulous websites, a small amount of spyware can actually be placed on your computer remotely by hackers. Installing a firewall or using the firewall that is built into Windows XP provides a helpful defense against these hackers. For more information on firewalls, go to the Firewall security strategy website.
  • Surf and download more safely.
  • The best defense against spyware and other unwanted software is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don't want:
    • Only download programs from websites you trust. If you are not sure whether to trust a program you are considering downloading, contact the CaTS Help Desk at (937) 775-4827.
    • Read all security warnings, license agreements, and privacy statement associated with any software you download.
    • Never click "agree" or "OK" to close a pop-up window. Instead, click the red "x" in the corner of the window or press the Alt + F4 buttons on your keyboard to close a window.
    • Be wary of popular "free" music and movie file-sharing programs. Most of these promote illegal file sharing and you can get caught.