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.
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.
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.
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.