You wouldn’t be reading this if you weren’t curious about spyware… I’ve shown you how to get rid of it (easily) so lets look at how to prevent it.
I’m not going to repeat myself so I won’t go into detail, but spyware has several limitations. If you don’t want to get too advanced, here are a few easy ways to prevent spyware:
1. Use Internet Explorer 8 (stop whining, it does work very well)
2. Use Google Chrome (preferred method)
3. Use Mozilla Firefox (whatever the lastest version is)
4. Don’t click on pop-ups… if you have a pop-up blocker, turn it on!
5. If it tells you that you have a virus, the thing telling you is probably the virus… stop clicking on things!
6. Download and install MalwareBytes… then do a full scan occasionally
Now for more advanced ways!
1. Set security on C:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts to Everyone read-only
2. Use regedt32 to set permissions on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\MICROSOFT\WINDOWS\CURRENTVERSION\RUN to Everyone Read-Only. *** SOME SOFTWARE INSTALLS WILL NOT LIKE THIS: meaning future installations of software may fail because they cannot write to this key ***
3. Research CLEANMGR and use it’s “autopilot” function to clean temp files every time you reboot.
4. If you are in a domain environment, lock down Internet Options (specifically the proxy part)– and if you ARE in a domain environment, get a web filter… Barracuda even has its own spyware removal tool. There are some free ones out there like Untangle that even work pretty well.
5. Change your DNS to OpenDNS servers (http://opendns.org/) by setting it manually on your NIC or where ever you get DHCP from (at home this would be your “Linksys” router)
6. Set these registry keys to everyone read-only as well HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT/.exe and HKEY_CLASSESROOT/exefile