Rid Your Computer of ITD - Internet Transmitted Diseases
Spyware or malware has become very prolific in the past year but there are some things you can do to limit your infection by it.
Check to see if the malware has installed itself to startup when your computer starts up. You can do this by using Microsofts built in configuration editor. Click on Start, then Run then type in msconfig and hit enter. Click on the startup tab on the far right. Look to see if there is anything out of the ordinary or suspicious in the startup file. For more information on this procedure check out http://www.pcpro4u.com/msconfig.htm
Once you have cleaned up your startup files you want to reboot your computer and go into the control panel, select the Add/Remove Programs icon and look for any malware that has installed itself in your system. Again, look for any unrecognized entries in here. Some of the common applications that you will want to delete are Kazaa, Savenow, erebates, esaver, Bonzi Buddy, My Search Bar and esearch to name a few.
Ah, now the fun part. Simply start up your favorite anti-malware application and click the kill button. Unfortunately this isnt as easy as it sounds. With the proliferation of malware there is also a proliferation of anti-malware applications. As with anything else in life do some research, get some recommendations. There are some decent and free applications out there and there are some that are worth paying for too. Some of the more recognized malware removal tools include Ad-Aware by lavasoft, Spybot Search and Destroy by Patrick Kolla, Pest Patrol, by Pest Patrol Inc. Both Ad-Aware and Spybot have fully functional free versions as well as pay versions. Pest Patrol has an evaluation version and it will find the bad guys but it will not remove what it finds unless you pay.
The bottom line is that malware has become a serious issue bringing computer users to their knees in a way that the virus problem has not. If you are using Windows XP some relief may be here with the release of Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2, which wasnt released when I composed this article, promises to bring with it some malware defense. Computer users must be suspicious of programs that try to install themselves, keep their anti-virus definitions up to date, regularly scan their computers with an anti-malware application, use a firewall application, and ensure that they are current with Windows Critical Updates. While this sounds like an arduous task think about what you do to take care of your automobile and lets face it some of us have become almost as dependant on our computers as are automobiles. You wouldnt drive your car with having gas and oil in it, making sure you have insurance and making sure it was safe to drive, i.e., brakes, headlights, tires properly inflated and so on.
Stay safe and happy computing.
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Are You Well Protected
Winter…the official start of the cold and flu season. Though, technically speaking, things got started a little early. Close to a million computers, mostly home PC users, have been infected.
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