Preventing Friends and Family from Downloading Malware

The fact is that malware, or dangerous programs are much easier to prevent then they are to remove. This problem is compounded by the fact that you may not have control over what happens on your computer at all times. If you own a computer that is also used by your roommates, friends, or family, then they can accidentally download malware on your computer as well. It’s a good idea to take preventative steps to make sure this doesn’t become a problem through no fault of your own.


-Make Sure They Know the Rules

If others are going to use your computer, make sure they know how to be safe. It may be easiest to just tell them to not download anything at all if they are a person that is not used to using computers. But even if they are, try to make sure they know exactly what is safe to download online and what isn’t.


-Set Filters

Another preventative measure you can take is changing filters in your Internet browser to ensure that anyone using your computer doesn’t accidentally navigate to a website that might cause your computer to become infected with malware.

For example, in Internet Explorer, you can go to “Tools->Internet Options,” and then select the “Security” tab to set which websites are allowed to be visited. You can set between low and high filters, all of which either allow or disable various features such as automatic downloading of files from sites, blocking out known dangerous sites, and so on.

Many Internet browsers will also allow you to set blacklists of websites that you don’t want anyone on your computer to visit. So if there are sites that have been a problem in the past or that you know will be a problem in the future, you can set them on a blacklist to make sure that no one can navigate to that site and infect your computer.


-Nanny Programs

Another option is to use programs like Netnanny that control exactly what people on your computer can do, especially in regard to the Internet. Some of these programs even allow you to monitor more closely what other people are doing on your computer through the use of programs called keyloggers that record everything that’s typed into the computer. Some of them even take video screenshots of everything that is done on the computer to give the owner an idea of what might be causing the malware problems in the first place.

Netnanny type programs give much stronger controls than Internet filters, since Internet filters can be circumvented if other people have the know-how on how to do it. Policing programs actually require passwords to control so they are more of a direct method for ensuring no bad programs end up on a computer.


-Scanning Programs

Doing regular weekly scans with programs like Spybot or Malwarebytes, which are free to download, can also go along way to keeping problems from happening on your computer. Many of these programs can also be set to actively scan for any problem that is about to be downloaded and stop it in its tracks.


Signs That You Might Have Malware

Malware, or malicious programs, can infect your computer without your knowledge and cause damage to your files and security. This means that it’s quite important that you recognize various signs that your computer is infected quickly. That way you can deal with the threat before any more damage is done.


-Slow Computer

There are obviously many different reasons why your computer might slow down, but if it is slowing down and you feel you’ve eliminated some of the other possible reasons, malware programs running in the background could be a cause. This is because these programs tend to be running in your computer’s background all the time, eating up memory and slowing down your computer.

Malware programs may not even show up when you check your task manager for what programs are currently running since some malware programs actually hide from that tool. So if your computer appears to be running slow for no reason, malware could certainly be the cause.



Another possible sign that you might have malware installed on your computer popup ads. This is especially likely to be true if you’re getting unwanted popup advertisements on your computer, even if you aren’t currently browsing on the Internet. That is a sure sign that a program is installed on your computer that is generating those popups, especially if you aren’t even browsing at the time.


-Home Page

Another sure sign that you probably have malware on your computer is if the home page on your browser is constantly changing without you tell it to do so. This often happens due to malware programs that change your home page to a page that may be dangerous. It’s important to take care of this problem quickly because it tends to feed on itself. If a malware changes your home page default and you then start your browser, it will immediately go to that dangerous website and possibly download even more malware.

This malware can then do additional bad things to your computer, including stealing your information.


-Sending Emails in Your Name

Another common sign that you have malware is if you discover that emails are being sent in your name and without your permission or knowledge to people on your email contact list. These emails will often have spam in them. They are solicitations and part of a scheme for the person infecting your computer to make money.

It can be pretty terribly annoying to be accidentally spamming all of your friends with advertisements about random products. The tendency is to think when this happens that something is wrong with your email. But in fact, the likelihood is that your computer is infected with a malware program that is making this happen.

-Scanning Programs and Finding Out for Sure

If you think you might have malware on your computer, or really, even if you don’t, a scanning program is a good idea. Examples of programs you can download and scan completely for free include Spybot, Malwarebytes, and Avira. It’s a good idea to do periodical scans of your computer all the time anyway to find out whether you have malware or not for sure.


Secure Email – Optimize the Program Experience in Windows

Most users are reluctant to use Microsoft Outlook and similar other Microsoft related messenger as well as email platforms, as they were reported previously for being virus and malware carriers, infecting the entire mailbox. These malicious emails were sent to other mail users in the contact list and their mailboxes were infected upon opening of these emails. Having switched to BBMs, people are now concerned about their privacy, and have stopped using emails for the sake of preventing their personal information and documents being accessed by others.

AOL and Gmail have installed state of the art software programs that filter out all possible spams and malicious emails that can infect a user’s mailbox. These companies have also installed virus protection and security measures to prevent the privacy of individuals from being compromised. Several ID protection services in collaboration with Norton and AVG have been installed, along with identification confirmation upon two wrong password entries. In addition, two email addresses are linked together for verification purposes. Even with these security measure that are being taken by email giants like Google, Hotmail, and AOL, cyber crimes are continually increasing in the US and other countries throughout the world.

You (as an email user) can take the following precautions to prevent your personal belongings from being compromised.

Activate the spam filter technology if you are using AOL, Hotmail, or Google Mail. This feature can be activated by clicking on the spam folder and clicking on the Filter Spam icon.

A user can also activate the Identity protection feature before logging in. The log in page contains information on this feature that takes no more than six clicks (and some forms) to activate.

Link two personal email addresses together. This can be done by creating a back up (reset information) email when you sign up for an account. Most email service providers continually circulate messages that contain an alternate email bar.

Change the password every month by clicking on the ‘forgot password’ on the email home screen.

Do not open email from an un-identified source, especially the ones that are related to financial incentives.

Avoid sending an email that contains your personal data or information to an un-identified user, in order to prevent breach of personal information.

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Virus or Malware: What is the Difference?

Viruses, Trojans, spyware, bots and worms are all part of a class of computer software called malware. Malware or malicious software is a group of codes or a software that is specifically created to cause damage, disruption, stealing of information or any other malicious intent that is being distributed over networks, computers and online. Malware and virus are oftentimes used interchangeably when discussing the typical or general computer infections. In the last few years or so, being able to determine for the purpose of eradication of malware or virus requires the right malware/virus removal program. Moreover, malware comes in many and different forms, even if they are slightly different from another, can still do damage, interruption or corruption to the normal computer usage. Continue reading