How Can I Prevent Spyware?

Spyware is a prevalent problem for computer users today. With spyware, those behind it can gather sensitive data from your computer, change your computer settings, and peddle advertising to you without your permission. Occasionally, spyware can be an incredibly malicious piece of software that works its way into the depths of your computer and steals information. It tends to be very difficult to remove and can do things such as changing your homepage and invading your settings so that it’s not possible for you to change them back. Eventually, certain types of spyware can cause your computer to crash altogether. It’s important that you know how to protect your computer from spyware programs. We have some tips on how to avoid being a victim of spyware.

  • Install anti-Spyware software – As your first line of defense, this is a good one. Make sure that the software that you choose is trustworthy and will keep your computer safe from harm. The ideal anti-spyware would actually be anti-malware so that it can detect any kind of harmful program that comes into contact with your computer.
  • Use caution on the internet – The internet is full of viruses and programs looking to destroy your computer and gain information from you. Be careful to avoid clicking on links that take you to unknown sources. If something looks untrustworthy, it probably is. You should also avoid clicking on pop up ads, since they will frequently take you to places with malware.
  • Keep up with system updates – The more up to date your computer is, the better the chances that its equipped to deal with problems like spyware and malware. One way to make sure your computer stays up to date is to subscribe to automatic updates. Whenever a new update is released for your operating system, your computer will automatically install it.
  • Enable your firewall – Firewalls are meant to take down predatory programs. If your firewall settings are correct, spyware and malware will have a hard time getting through to your computer.

Your computer and information will be the safest if you’re prepared for anything. Make sure to take the above steps to avoid a spyware or malware invasion. It’s a fascinating digital world out there, and it’s important to know how to navigate it safely. If you have any questions regarding malware or spyware, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

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Sources: Spyware Prevention, What is spyware?

Cybersecurity News: Microsoft PCs are infected before reaching Consumers

It has not been a good couple of weeks for Microsoft. First, they discovered that Hackers had found a Security Hole in Internet Explorer. Now, the computer company has discovered that many of their PCs and laptops made in China were embedded with malicious software before ever reaching the consumer. The computer virus allows hackers to switch on a microphone or Webcam, record keystrokes, and access login credentials and online bank accounts.

And because computer companies rely on such a long and complex supply line, the malicious software could have been uploaded at any point, something Richard Domingues Boscovich, the assistant general counsel for the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit, called “especially disturbing.”

“It’s one of the toughest cybersecurity challenges out there,” said Tom Kellermann, vice president of cybersecurity at Trend Micro. “There’s not really a solution unless you start to only build computers in the USA again.”

This isn’t the first time this has happened either. In 2008, the Defense Department and Federal Aviation Administration unknowingly purchased counterfeit Cisco routers, which were pre-loaded malicious software. FBI investigators found the routers allowed hackers to “gain access to otherwise secure systems.”

Then in May, the Senate Armed Services Committee released  a report citing 1,800 cases of counterfeit electronics from China, electronics used in the Air Force’s largest cargo plane and Special Operation helicopters.

“Companies are in a competitive dogfight to make products cheaper and hit the market faster,” said Scott Aken, a former FBI special agent who dealt with cyber counterintelligence. “They’re not spending time or money to ensure those products they are sourcing from overseas are devoid of counterfeits.”

So what are consumers to do?

Boscovich offers this simple advice: Consumers can often spot dangerous counterfeit technology if the deal “appears too good to be true.”

“However, sometimes people just can’t tell, making the exploitation of a broken supply chain an especially dangerous vehicle for infecting people with malware.”

If you have any questions about Cybersecurity, please contact Working Nets by calling (443) 992-7394 or visit WorkingNets.com today!

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At Working Nets, we support your business by providing top-notch Information Technology (I.T.) services to companies like yours: Companies that don’t need full-time I.T. services, but do need someone to turn to, when they are having a problem. We provide services like Network Design, Monitoring and Maintenance. We troubleshoot technical issues when they arise, and give you options for solving them. We help you use your technology investment to achieve your business goals.

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Pre-Infected PCs Expose Flaws In Global Supply Chain