By Chase Christian, Engineering Consultant
One of the key issues plaguing both PC and Mac users alike is the proliferation of spyware and malware programs on the internet. Spyware, which is designed to capture your information and display advertising/popups, has grown from a rarely seen issue to a daily occurrence for those of us working on the Web. Its malicious brother, malware, is designed to hijack Internet Explorer and Firefox, and take over other functions of your computer. They can also manifest themselves in other ways, such as changing icons or your desktop background, and creating false security alerts.
Because of the rapid creation and distribution of these unwanted software “weeds”, it has become harder and harder to effectively monitor and block these applications from taking root in your system. Even the best anti-virus and anti-spyware software can only do so much against the reactive and creative attack vectors that are being used to infiltrate computers. The best defense against these attacks is an informed end user. By being cautious about what software you download, and restricting your browsing to only work approved sites, you can reduce your computer’s chance of contracting one of these viral infections.
Restricting a user’s permissions to install software and use web sites is an option for defending against spyware and malware, but this often leaves the user unable to perform day-to-day tasks that are needed to fulfill their job duties. Therefore it is even more important that users are vigilant when asked to approve a software install or clicking “Yes” to a popup window. If you are unsure of the validity of a message that appears on your computer, it is far safer to ask for a recommendation than to risk compromising your computer. Our Central Support department is well versed in the various types of spyware and malware and can easily guide you in the right direction for protecting yourself and your computer online. Call us with any questions, 805-692-6709 .