Combat Computer Spyware! An AntiSpyware Program Isnít Enough

Written by Jim Shutes

Continued from page 1

ēA lot ofrepparttar websites that you can play FREE games online, contain Spyware that automatically install on your computer, without you knowing it. Some even say that in order to play their games, or get their FREE stuff, you must answer YES torepparttar 144881 following question, or allow a small program to be installed, in order to playrepparttar 144882 game. Just say NO. Donít do it. It contains Spyware.

ēIf you do searches online for FREE stuff, just by going to most of these websites, you get Spyware downloaded to your system. Within minutes, you will notice that you start to get pop-ups that wonít quit, and you start getting taken to websites you donít want to go to. And even when you close all of your browser windows, other windows open up. Now youíve done it! You have Spyware!

ēPornography is a BIG place to get Spyware. Avoid porn sites. Itís not worth it.

ēAnother place to get Spyware is when you do searches for cracks for games and programs, to get FREE serial numbers and fixes to illegally use programs and games for FREE. Spyware is rampant at these websites. Stay away!

ēA lot of media players have Spyware built into them, too. I donít want to name any names, for fear of ďbig brotherĒ, but after installing any type of audio or video players, run your AntiSpyware program to scan your system. You will most likely find Spyware. Choose to deleterepparttar 144883 Spyware and then you can safely use your media player.

ēThere are several FREE programs that utilizerepparttar 144884 banner method of advertising, to pay forrepparttar 144885 FREE program that they are handing out. A lot of these types of programs still include Spyware in their programs. Watch for this. After installing any questionable programs (especially if they are FREE), always do an AntiSpyware scan of your system.

ēAnd finally, you can get Spyware from even reputable websites in newsgroup and forum sections, and even from certain search engines (again, without naming any names). To find out where you are getting your Spyware, install SpyBot, runrepparttar 144886 Immunize feature a couple of times, and then onrepparttar 144887 Immunize page (inrepparttar 144888 pull-down menu nearrepparttar 144889 bottom) choose to ďDisplay Dialog When BlockingĒ. SpyBot will tell you, in real-time, as it is finding Spyware that is attempting to install on your system. Just by going to certain websites (or just certain pages on a particular website) you can have Spyware installed on your system, without your knowledge. SpyBot will alert you when this is happening and tells you that it is blocking it. You will be amazed where this happens. And by doing this, it helps you steer clear of these websites.

Another way to protect your computer against attacks is by having a firewall. And if you think that Windows XPís built-in firewall is enough, tell that torepparttar 144890 hackers that laugh as they walk passed it and into your computer! If you have high-speed Internet (DSL, CableModem, Satellite, Wireless, etc.), then you NEED a hardware firewall. A software firewall is a firewall program that resides on each of your computers on your network and tries to keep out attackers, by blocking certain ports and using filters to try to determine who can get in and who shouldnít be allowed access. A hardware firewall is a router (a piece of hardware; a box) that sits between all of your computers on your network andrepparttar 144891 Internet. This isrepparttar 144892 best way to keep out attacks, since your computers canít even be found onrepparttar 144893 Internet (because ofrepparttar 144894 router putting you on a different network). Instead of your computerís processor working to repel attackers that found your computer onrepparttar 144895 Internet,repparttar 144896 router does all ofrepparttar 144897 work for you and bouncesrepparttar 144898 attacks back, before they ever get to your computer. This is your BEST defense from Internet attacks. However, a hardware firewall does NOT protect you against getting Spyware or Viruses. Since most Spyware and Viruses are acquired byrepparttar 144899 user (and not an outside attack) either by downloading them, installing a program with them, or opening email with them, a firewall wonít protect against these threats. A firewall must be used as one part of a larger prevention package.

A good consumer router (hardware firewall) only costs about $50 - $100 and can be picked up from your local computer store. If you only have one computer, it is pretty simple to setup yourself. If you have a LAN (local area network) of computers, you may want to hire a professional to help set you up.

And finally, donít use a computer onrepparttar 144900 Internet without a good Pop-up Blocker. Part of Spyware are Pop-ups. A good Pop-up Blocker will work in conjunction with AntiSpyware to keeprepparttar 144901 Spyware at bay. Some Spyware will automatically keep launching new browser windows of websites they want you to visit. A Pop-Up Blocker will slow, or even stop, this from happening. Pop-ups can be so annoying. For every window you close, a few more open up. Again, this should be illegal! I like to use Zero Pop-up. It isnít FREE, but unlike some Pop-up Blockers, it doesnít have to be trained (meaning, whenever you get an unwanted pop-up, you tell it not to show it inrepparttar 144902 future, and eventually build a ďblack listĒ of unwanted pop-ups not to show). With Zero Pop-up, you can also block Messenger messages, banner ads, floating ads, and other things. I highly recommend it. You can download a FREE trial HERE...

To combat Spyware, you must incorporate an entire prevention scheme, made up of AntiSpyware programs, an AntiVirus program, a Hardware (not software) Firewall or Router, a good Pop-up Killer, and also be aware of where you can get Spyware and Viruses, and avoid these programs, emails, and websites. And it isnít enough to install all of this, but also keep current on all updates and definitions, and run regular scans of your system (daily, if you can, if not, weekly).

And if your computer is already too far gone to start your own prevention scheme, hire a professional to set it up for you. Sometimes, spending a little money to have a fresh installation and preventative measures installed is well worth it, to avoidrepparttar 144903 headaches, hassles and downtime incurred with these types of threats. Times have changed sincerepparttar 144904 days when all you needed was a simple AntiVirus program. Today, technology has advanced such that a punk computer geek can sit at home and cause lots of problems on YOUR home or business computer(s) and can cost you lots of time and money, trying to stay ahead of all ofrepparttar 144905 problems. Get your prevention scheme in place TODAY!

Good luck. I hope this article has helped you. If you live inrepparttar 144906 Lapeer, Genesee, or Tuscola County, Michigan areas, and would like an IT Professional to setup your Prevention Scheme in your home or business, please contact Lapeer Tech Group at (810) 793-1093, or visit our website at You can email us at

I have worked in the IT field since 1989 and hold several Microsoft certifications. I am a network administrator and owner and operator of Lapeer Tech Group, located in Columbiaville, Michigan (just outside of Lapeer). During these years, I have supported both Macs and PCs, am an accomplished graphic and web designer, and have had the opportunity to support 2nd and 3rd level enterprise networks for GM, EDS, Delphi and Delco.

10 Easy Steps to Speed Up Your Computer - Without Upgrading

Written by Jim Shutes

Continued from page 1

7. Install and run a good AntiVirus program to keep out viruses that can take over your system. One of my favorites is AVG. It is not only a really good AntiVirus program, but it is also FREE! If you donít have any AntiVirus software on your computer, get AVG AntiVirus NOW by downloading HERE...

8. Get rid of Spyware. A lot of computer users have Spyware and donít even know they have it, much less how to get rid of it. If your computer has been taking you to websites that you donít want to go to, or if you get pop-ups when you arenít even onrepparttar Internet, or if your computer has been running extremely slowly lately, for no reason, you probably have Spyware.

On all ofrepparttar 144880 computers that I setup, I install two different AntiSpyware programs: AdAware SE and SpyBot. These two programs are highly recommended by TechTV (G4) and other computer authorities (including my own research on Spyware) and work very well together. They compliment each other and catch Spyware thatrepparttar 144881 other misses, but together, do a very good job.

Get SpyBot HERE... Download all updates and runrepparttar 144882 Immunize option a couple of times.

AdAware SE does a good job when you keep up onrepparttar 144883 updates and manually scan your system with AdAware. Get it HERE...

In some cases, whenrepparttar 144884 Spyware has become too entwined into your system, even a computer repair technician canít get rid ofrepparttar 144885 Spyware. At this point, it is better to just backup only what you need and haverepparttar 144886 operating system reinstalled. Believe me, when your computer gets to this point, you donít want to just put a ďband-aidĒ on it. Just start from scratch with a clean system. Itísrepparttar 144887 best way to go.

9. Streamline MSCONFIG. One thing that really causes a HUGE performance decrease is to have unnecessary programs running inrepparttar 144888 background. Some of these programs can be seen in your System Tray (located next torepparttar 144889 clock). These are tiny programs that are robbing you of memory and processing power. Some of them you need, while most you donít. Some ofrepparttar 144890 programs you DONíT need are printer icons, CD burning icons, shortcuts to programs (such as video settings), AOL, any Instant Messaging Programs, etc. Just because these programs arenít always running, doesnít mean that you still canít print, burn CDs or Instant Message. They can all be run from a shortcut.

You can use a utility, called MSCONFIG, to turn OFF unnecessary Start Up items.

a. In Windows 98, Me, and XP, click on StartRun and type msconfig. Click onrepparttar 144891 Startup tab. This is a list of everything that is running inrepparttar 144892 background, some of which show up inrepparttar 144893 System Tray. Now, be careful, some of these you do need. Some items to keep are Ctfmon.exe (XP), Scan Registry (Win98, Me), Task Monitor (Win98, Me), System Tray (Win98, Me), LoadPowerProfile (Win98, Me), Rundll.32, any AntiVirus programs (such as McAfee, Norton, or AVG). Others, you can uncheck, such as NeroCheck, ypager, qttask, AOL, and any other Instant Messaging programs, or printing programs. Remember, if something doesnít work, because you turned it off, it can always be turned back on. You just have to reboot every time you make a change here. But, as you uncheckrepparttar 144894 unnecessary programs that run inrepparttar 144895 background, you will see that Windows loads much faster, that there are less icons inrepparttar 144896 System Tray, and that your system is much more ďsnappyĒ and quick to respond.

b. In Windows 2000, MSCONFIG wasnít supplied. You actually have to download and run an MSCONFIG utility. Downloadrepparttar 144897 MSCONFIG utility HERE...

After you reboot, you will have a window that says thatrepparttar 144898 configuration utility was edited. Just check not to show that inrepparttar 144899 future, a check box atrepparttar 144900 bottom. This just means that there was a change made torepparttar 144901 MSCONFIG.

10. Defragment your hard drives. NOTE: to efficiently defragment a hard drive, it likes to have 25% free space. It can still dorepparttar 144902 defragmentation with only 15% free space, but it takes quite a bit longer. If you can, delete any unnecessary files before deframenting your drives.

a. To defragment your hard drives (in any Windows operating system), double-click on My Computer. Right-click onrepparttar 144903 c-drive and click on Properties. Click onrepparttar 144904 Tools tab and chooserepparttar 144905 bottom button, to Defragment NowÖ

Good luck. I hope this article has helped you. If you live inrepparttar 144906 Lapeer County, MI area, and would like a Professional professionally TuneUp your computer(s) in your home or business, please contact Lapeer Tech Group at (810) 793-1093, or visit our website at

I have worked in the IT field since 1989 and hold several Microsoft certifications. I am a network administrator and owner and operator of Lapeer Tech Group, located in Columbiaville, Michigan (just outside of Lapeer). During these years, I have supported both Macs and PCs, am an accomplished graphic and web designer, and have had the opportunity to support 2nd and 3rd level enterprise networks for GM, EDS, Delphi and Delco.

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