Tips to Avoid Spyware - Adware Infections

Would you like to know the "secret" as to how most all spyware and viruses get on your computer? This is fairly well known in tech circles but apparently not well known among many other computer users. Ready? Here it is...YOU do it yourself!. Viruses ransomware, and spyware are programs that have to be installed before they work just like any other piece of software you use. It uses lies, scare tactics, intimidation, and user innocence to get you to click on some offer or fix that is the infection. Once that gets on your computer a common tactic the "bad guy" uses is to disable any protection you may have and send out calls to his "buddies" to move in. Result? You can end up with endless pop-ups or a slow/non-functioning computer at best. The worst case is you can forever lose pictures, documents, music, etc. The Internet is no longer a "safe" place. Tech aware criminals have found ways to exploit it just as real world criminals do in the streets.

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that appear while you are browsing Internet pages are mostly fraudulent. It is the most common way that spyware and viruses get installed on your computer! Given some of the threats out there today you don't want to open your computer door voluntarily!

Cold calls on telephone from anyone claiming to be Microsoft, Dell, or any other computer related company are FAKE. Hang up immediately. DO NOT give them access to your computer no matter how convincing they seem to be.

You must ignore and close any of these windows by using the “X” at top right of the window, NOT a “No”, “Continue”, “Continue Unprotected”, or any other space inside one of these bogus offers. If there is no other way, pressing the Alt key and the F4 key together will usually shut down the active window. If all else fails, close and restart the web browser or the computer.

If you do this and combine a weekly scan using an anti-spyware program such as “Malware Bytes”, or “Super Anti-Spyware” you will go a long way to remaining Spyware Free.

Anti-spyware is not the same as Anti-Virus. Much like real world viral and bacterial infections are “cured” using different methods, so are computer viruses and spyware. An Anti-Virus program is not enough by itself and you really need both.

If you are looking for any downloads from the Internet DO NOT assume that the first or first few items that appear after your search are the ones you want. Many download "services" will appear first in your search and they will install a lot of junk spyware with or without the one you were looking for. If you are not "tech savvy" it is probably best to avoid downloading anything. Learn how spyware, ransomware, and viruses spread before being "quick to click"!

CryptoLocker/CryptoWall et. al.

This is a particularly nasty piece of software that WILL lock you out of your files. It is usually distributed as an e-mail attachment disguised as a harmless (.doc, .jpg, .pdf, .zip etc.) file type. By the time you know you have it the damage is done. They will demand a ransom of several hundred dollars to get a "key" that will allow you to recover your files. Sometimes you will get the key, sometimes the shaft. The only fix/solution is to have backups of all your files on a drive that is NOT connected to your computer and a total reinstallation of your operating system and software. You can read more about this here. It would be a good idea to learn something about this one and how it is delivered. Beware of updates for commonly used software such as Java or Adobe Reader/Flash that appear in large windows while browsing the Internet. If you think there may be an update go directly to the software manufacturer's site and check there. Don't accept a pop-up's "help".

Unless you are the type that enjoys a night swim off Amity Island, learn all you can about how these rogue software types are distributed and avoid them!