How to Prevent Malware From Being Downloaded Onto Your Computer

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The old saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is very true where malware is concerned. Malware can cause an endless list of problems, including, but not limited to, annoyances, identity theft and computer crashes. Preventing these software programs from infecting a computer can save money, time and worry. Malware can come in the forms of viruses, spyware, browser hijackers and Trojan horses. There are several steps you can take to prevent malware from being downloaded onto your computer.

  • Be alert to what is going on with your computer. Any unusual activity is the first sign of trouble.

  • Set your Internet browser so that you are notified anytime a program attemts to download.

  • Install a reputable anti-virus program. Keep this program updated daily, if possible, and you will stop the majority of viruses from being downloaded and installed on your computer.

  • Pop-ups are a form of malware that can seem annoying on the surface but can also be dangerous. Installing a good pop-up blocker can stop malware from being downloaded.

  • Install a personal firewall.

  • Use an email client that includes a spam guard. A large number of viruses and Trojan horses are spread via emails. Stopping those emails before they enter your mailbox can help in the battle against malware.

  • Don't download software or programs from unknown Web sites. These seemingly innocent programs may contain malware that will install on your computer when the original program is installed.

  • Be careful when trading files or programs with friends and family. If there was malware of any sort on the original computer, it could implant itself on the disc or in a file and download to your computer. It's best to run a virus scan on all discs before installing the information from the disc onto your computer.

  • Disable cookies on your Internet browser. Cookies can be good, but there are Web sites that place a cookie on your computer so that you can be tracked down later.

  • Read the fine print when downloading programs. Those user licenses seem boring and repetitive at times, but there can be a wealth of information in them as well, such as giving a company permission to place malware in the form of adware or spyware on your computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Keep all security programs such as anti-virus ad firewall programs updated regularly.
  • Being aware of what is going on around you! You may be enjoying an afternoon playing solitaire online, but at the same time a malware program may be downloading in the background. Watch for things like your computer responding slower than usual.
  • Download security programs only from reputable companies. A free and easy to use anti-virus program is useless to you if it's infected with a virus. Reading reviews of programs posted on sites other than the intended program site is a good way to lear the truth about a program.

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