Spyware, which includes keystroke loggers, screen and mouse recorders, and other types of malware, allows hackers to extract sensitive data from your computer. These programs often slow down your computer and send harvested information to criminals. You may want to follow the tips below to protect your computer and private information from these dangerous programs.
How to Protect Your Computer from Spyware
- Never open any email attachments, web links, or files if the sender or source is not trustworthy or cannot be confirmed. Also be watchful of emails that may appear legitimate that could be part of a phishing campaign. For general tips on how to spot potential phishing emails, please click here. This will help prevent spyware (which is designed to secretly access information) from being installed on your computer.
- Use the automated update wizards in your operating system to download and install the latest security patches.
- Install a firewall and anti-virus software with spyware protection on your computer. Use the automatic update options, and keep your subscriptions current, as fraudsters continue to develop new malware and viruses.
- Use email spam-filtering software.
- Avoid using public computers (shared by many individuals) to pay your bills, check your account balance, or transact business. If you do have to use a public computer, remember to log out of any websites completely and log off the computer.
- Always use encryption for wireless access.
For additional information on the control of malware, refer to http://www.staysafeonline.org/