Malicious Software

Adware and spyware are programs that sneak onto your computer, often with no action on your part other than viewing a web page or installing software. Adware programs try to hijack your web browser and/or pop up ads on your computer. Spyware programs watch what you do and then send a report to someone. The worst of these programs watch for credit card numbers or other personal information to steal. If you haven't checked for these programs, chances are you have several already just from browsing the web or installing extra software.

General Prevention

To keep adware and spyware from getting on your computer:
  • Avoid installing extra software on your computer. You may think you're just getting a cute screen picture or fast access to the weather, but almost every time what you're also getting is adware and spyware. Included in extra software are programs like KaZaa, ShareBear, LimeWire, and WebShots that are known to add other software during their installs.
  • If a website pops up a request to install software, hit alt-F4 (this is better than saying No, because sometimes no is yes). If you really, really think you need the software, contact the IT Service Desk to double-check the title before installing.
  • Use pop-up blocking. Pop-up blockers need to be told to trust sites or they will shut down web access to Google E-Mail and some features of Bruindata.
  • Install AVG Free 8.5

If you have any problems removing adware or spyware, or any questions, please don't hesitate to contact the IT Service Desk.