Today, on most internet user’s computers, we have the ability to employ software, along with our intelligence, to prevent viruses and spyware.
To put this article about online safety into proper perspective, we’ll use Medieval defense tactics.
This is accomplished by 3 methods. First, a firewall…‘The Castle Moat’ so to speak. A firewall can’t see inside your computer beforehand though, so if any viruses or spyware were present before the firewall was installed then its of no use. Of course, its extremely good at preventing new attacks.
Second, a anti-virus program…. ‘The Castle Drawbridge! They will not provide much help with spyware, but good virus protection is as desirable as one of Avaris’s dreams!
One drawback can be the updates, of course. If you’ve just updated Wednesday night and a virus hits the next day, then you may not be protected till next Wednesday night, and by then it may be too late. If you’re smart, you will have signed up for email alerts with the provider, or even better, you’ll have a anti-virus program that has a real time update feature.
I get the tingles when I see that little pop-up saying a update is available and click here. Its downloaded, installed, and updated in about 20 seconds! A new virus or Trojan or God forbid, a new keylogger can hit the internet and spread in a matter of days, and I’m sure this must make the definition writers lives a living hell.
I have great admiration for them as they could have been wealthy doctors, but they have chosen to help us… the end users. (moment of silence here)
Last, we have anti-spyware programs,‘The Flaming oil’! (my favorite). Their update features are like the anti-virus programs, so you have to be as vigilant with this method of defense too as you would be with the others.
I’ve heard there are people out there that don’t even know when their updates run, or even if its configured to do so! I refuse to believe this sordid rumor!
So you’ve got your defenses set up, you’re looking good. But the best defense is a good offense, attack! That’s what some organizations do. They prowl the net looking for websites that harbor drive-by downloads, URL Re-Directing and such. When they find them, they shut them down, or report them so effective protection can be manufactured.
These people have my sincere thanks for what they do. With identity theft on the rise and Websense reporting that the average computer has 28 items of Spyware on it, we need all the help we can get.
Oh sure, you’re saying not my computer !
Well, lets discuss those little boxes that you click “I Agree” to when you download something. Do you read the entire statement? This is one way spyware has become so rampant, because so many downloads have extra software included in them. These can be harmful to your computers well being. KeyLoggers, popups, adware, malware…
Need I go on?
So my idea is that we need these shining knights from the castle to journey forth on a quest. They will be little robots or spiders like the search engines use. They will be given absolute power over harmful programs they find. They will be like Gort in the movie “The Day the Earth Stood Still”.
Dell recently reported that 12% of their calls were for spyware damage, Microsoft says half of their reports of system crashes are caused by spyware. These calls cost these companies millions of dollars in revenue, which they then pass the costs of onto us, the consumers.
Who knows, if viruses and spyware ever get controlled, the average computer may only cost a dollar!
About The Author
Doug Woodall has a website at www.spywarebiz.com There he provides free information and recommended products to combat Spyware, Viruses and other Online Nasties.