Posts Tagged ‘Security Settings’

How to Safeguard Against Internet Explorer Vulnerability – December 2008

February 21st, 2013 No comments

A big story in most media at present confrims that Microsoft is desparately seeking a solution to a new problem in all versions Internet Explorer. This ‘vulnerability’ could allow hackers to do various nasty things such as log for passwords, install programs without your knowledge etc. It is said that only about 0.2% of computers are affected at present but if you would like to take precautions, read on:

1.  Make sure your Internet Explorer Security Settings are High

(a) Click on Tools, then from the menu that appears click on Internet Options and then click the Security tab

(b) Now and set Internet security to ‘High’ by sliding the button on the security slider

2.  Restricted User Accounts on your computer

Your PC can be set to run at different levels of security, changing what the computer allows you to do. Many computers have been set up with an ‘Administrator’ account for installing new programs, making system changes etc. and ‘User’ accounts for day to day use. If you have only one account and you don’t have to choose a username when you start using your computer you probably have an ‘Adminstrator’ account. This is very convenient but more prone to hacker activity.

If you are using Vista you will have noticed that some important actions such as installing or running new programs require a prompt from you. This is a safety precaution which is applied even if you are running an administrator account. This precaution does not happen in XP.

If you only have an administrator account, it is recommend that you set up a separate user account with restricted rights for every day use. If you would like to take this precaution and are not familiar with setting up user accounts, you will need to take advice from your computer support technician.

3.  Change your Internet Browser

Internet Explorer is not the only web browser, there are alternatives. Installing and running a new web browser is very straight forward.

John Studd

Antispyware Software Can Kill That Spy!

February 12th, 2013 3 comments

The one way to get a severe headache is to have your computer infested with spyware and adware. But if you understand what spyware means and take the necessary steps to detect, remove and prevent it you can be free from this headache before it turns chronic.

Spyware can imply many things – it could be browser parasites, data miners, malware, adware, software you didn’t ask for, homepage hijackers, Trojan horses, dialers etc. These thieves usually hit Microsoft Windows applications and Internet Explorer, since most people use them, leading to a system crash or some really strange behavior.

But how did spyware get into your system in the first place? If you visited a website or looked at an html email message or if you clicked a pop up window, you are ‘it’. Your action would have automatically triggered off the download and installation of the spyware into your computer without your knowledge. Something you clicked would have been conveyed as ‘I do’ to the spyware vendor. After all, it cheats. This way of misleading you into getting that tracking software called spyware installed in your computer is referred to as a drive-by download. It is one of the commonest ways of tricking pc users to accept spyware if they do not have real-time antispyware protection installed.

Arresting The Damage With Antispyware

That spyware which sneaked into your computer can alter your browser and security settings. Some adware vendors just collect your browsing information so that they can bombard you with their product ads.

Adware spyware usually tracks your Internet browsing actions in the machine where they install themselves. They then have a way of conveying the information they collect back to the people who installed the adware so they can use it for commercial gain. They use it themselves, or sell it to others. These people in turn assume what your interests are through the information they collect and display a barrage of ads through the computer where they install their adware.

Spyware vendors pay software vendors to bundle in their spyware software so that they can get into users system. Some spyware vendors get into your system through the low security settings in your Internet browser. For each spyware installation they mark it with a tracking number so that they can trace your information, helping them to update their database on an ongoing basis.

Antispyware has become an essential part of a computer just like antivirus software. The adware that installs itself in our systems without our approval usually come up as popup windows or sleazy banner advertisements integrated into some totally irrelevant program. Antispyware programs and adware removal tools can detect, remove and also provide prevention measures.