Keeping Spies Out

Dennis Faas's picture

Ask nearly any web surfer if he or she is concerned about spyware, and no doubt the majority will answer a resounding "Yes!"

Indeed, there's good reason to be concerned.

According to a 2005 report on spyware, antispyware vendor Webroot found that 88% of surveyed machines had some form of spyware installed. They even estimate that spyware authors generate in excess of $2 billion in annual revenue.

A more recent study done by the University of Washington also contains some sobering statistics, including a finding that one in every 20 executable files downloaded contains some form of spyware.

Despite the ubiquity of this problem, not enough attention has been paid to the issue of spyware prevention. Quite a bit has been written about spyware removal, but it's equally as important to know how to prevent the installation of spyware in the first place -- perhaps even more so.

So without further ado, let's get into the top 3 spyware prevention tips.

Spyware Prevention Tip #1 - Use SpywareBlaster

Written by a guy who calls himself Javacool, SpywareBlaster is an excellent, free tool that is absolutely indispensable in the fight against spyware.

SpywareBlaster is not a spyware removal tool. If you have spyware installed, SpywareBlaster will do nothing to remove it. But where this tool really shines is in the prevention department. This tool works so well because nearly all forms of spyware install themselves in particular locations in the Windows registry.

What SpywareBlaster does is proactively modify this portion of the registry to set the "kill bit" on various forms of spyware. Setting this bit effectively prohibits each of these spyware instances from ever installing themselves in the registry.

In other words, SpywareBlaster tells your Windows operating system to turn away various spyware instances if they ever try to install themselves.

Updating SpywareBlaster

To ensure you're getting protection from the latest spyware threats, you'll need to update the SpywareBlaster signature database around once per week. This is done through the program's interface and is as easy as clicking a button. There is also an automatic update option available for a nominal fee.

No matter what version of Windows you're running, you'll want to make sure you grab a copy of this handy tool.

Still to come: Spyware Prevention Tip #2 and #3

Stay tuned this week for parts two and three of this series where I'll outline additional Spyware Prevention Tips!

Stay safe...

For more great tips like this one, be sure to download David's free security newsletter to your mailbox, today!

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