Protecting your computer from spyware and malware is essential in the Internet age. Even one intrusion can cause irreparable damage to your computer and potentially even result in loss of confidential information. To remain fully protected from the threats posed by even the most innocuous Web browsing, you must have frequently updated protections in place. The rapid evolution of malicious software places a premium on having nuanced security in place. That means using a multipronged approach to monitoring and removing spyware and malware.
Spyware & Malware Monitoring Software
The first line of defense for your computer is real-time monitoring software that can analyze network and computer activity for potential threats. These software applications run as system processes all the time. A good antivirus program is the first step to establishing a monitoring system that can keep your computer safe, but antivirus alone will not protect your computer completely. Programs like Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy include real-time monitoring modules that connect directly the your Web browser to prevent malicious attacks. Moreover, programs like Spware Blaster can make preemptive adjustments to settings in your Web browser to keep your Internet activity safe.
Spyware & Malware Removal Software
Real-time protection is not foolproof, and sometimes newer, unidentified spyware and malware can make its way into your system. It's important to have a thorough scanning and removal regimen in place for your system. These programs should be set to examine your computer according to a regular schedule. The more frequently these scans are done, the more effective they are at removing infections before they do any real damage. If possible, set up scanning schedules for your antivirus and anti-spyware software to perform daily scans when you are not using your computer. In particular, programs like Microsoft Security Essentials, Ad-Aware and Spyware Terminator offer excellent and frequently updated scanning software that can be set to a schedule.
Web Browser Protection
One of the best ways to prevent spyware and malware intrusions is to use a safe and secure Web browser. Older Web browsers are prone to security breaches, so be sure to upgrade your preferred browser to the newest version available. Take browser protections a step further by installing add-ons that can analyze and identify potentially unsafe links and websites before you even visit the sites.
Manual Protection from Spyware and Malware
Manual monitoring can fill in gaps left by antivirus programs and other protections. Familiarize yourself with the startup processes for your computer's operating system and the number of tasks normally running on your computer. Simply understanding which processes are supposed to be running can help you catch possible intrusions before they do significant damage. If you spot something suspicious, you can target that possible threat and eliminate it with far greater efficiency.