If I were a Technician how would I set my machine up to keep my data safe from Spyware, Malware and viruses? Although this article actually has little to do with actual “data recovery” if you are attacked by any of these issues it may cause you to need data recovery services. Also, I thought it would be nice to share with you how I have my machine set up so that I stay safe. Firstly, I am going to go over your Internet connection and how to stay secure from the infamous 13 year old hacker. This defense, applies directly to my broadband friends out there (cable modems, DSL, etc.). If you are live on the Internet at all times, with your own IP address then you should NEVER EVER have that connection going directly into your computer from the cable modem your ISP has provided you with.
It is imperative that you put a wall between the internet and your computer, and this can easily be done with a router. You can pick up a router at most large electronics retailers for a very reasonable price. In many markets the cable company will provide you with a router if you tell them you need one.
I know many of you use a software firewall, but it has been my experience that they do not do a proper job. A software firewall like Zone Alarm just adds more headaches then it is worth in my opinion, and can end up being a data recovery nightmare if you ever decide you want to actually remove the software.
Now we move on to our most important daily protection for our computer. First, how do we scan for this spy ware and malware? I have used a lot of products, tested everything I could get my hands on, and after years of dealing with this problem; one thing is clear. It does not get any better than Ad-Aware by Lava Soft. First of all, this software is free for use on a single home computer (you need to pay for it you are going to be running it at a business or in a network environment). Secondly, they are diligent in keeping their offender database up to date. The software is easy to use and allows for many different types of scans.
I run Ad-Aware 2-3 times a week depending on how much Internet surfing I am doing. The next thing we need to do is block the offending malware, and spyware sites from even getting access to your computer. In order to do this I use Spybot Search and Destroy. This product has an extensive list of sites of known spyware offenders and will add blocks to your machine so that they cannot install any of their nasty little pop-ups. Make sure you install the product and then update it. After that, you only need to use the IMMUNIZE feature.
Doing this will block the sites. I IMMUNIZE about once a week. As for virus protection, the product I use most is Norton Anti-Virus. This product has a proven record and has long time been an industry leader. I do not recommend installing all of Norton system tools, just the virus scanner. Make sure you keep the live updates setting on and set the weekly scan up. I would also make sure you turn on the email protection. When it comes to trying to block spam in your email, there are thousands of products. I have tried setting up rules in outlook to deal with this problem and have had little luck with it actually filtering all the bad guys out.
After looking long and hard for a decent product for email spam, I finally found CloudMark. I cannot say enough about their service. Now it does have a subscription fee but is minimal compared to the headaches they prevent. IF one of the baddies does happen to sneak by you have an easy button to click and this will prevent you from getting email from them again. Finally, to toolbar or not to toolbar that is the question. For me the answer was easy.
Yes! With the toolbar battle raging I have found the Google tool bar to be the most flexible and reliable. The toolbar makes searching a snap, as well as blocking popups. It adds that extra oomph needed to really keep them at bay. Make sure you have your Internet Explorer pop-up’s turned off also. I hope that this article has at least been a little helpful in keeping your Internet browsing as safe as possible.