Prevention Is Possible - Here are Seventeen Tips

Spam, viruses and spyware continue to grow exponentially, despite the first federal law regulating junk e-mail going into effect last January, and other laws combating spyware and adware. All these nuisances are associated and we must be always careful because they can come from e-mail, from downloading software, and by simply clicking a link in an unsafe website.

There are ways to fight these menaces, however. Here are 17 tips to help you avoid spam, virus, spyware, adware and malware:

A - Be careful with the spam you receive

1 - Don't buy anything promoted in a spam message.

2 - Don't reply to spam or click on its "unsubscribe" link. That simply informs the sender that your e-mail address is valid.

3 - If your e-mail program has a preview pane, disable it to prevent the spam from reporting back to its sender.

4 - Use one e-mail address for family and friends, another for everyone else. When an address attracts too much spam, abandon it for a new one. Select an address with embedded digits, such as

5 - If you get lots of spam, check your Internet service provider's filtering features and compare them with those of competitors.

6 - To help the Federal Trade Commission control spam, forward it to

7 - Don't post your e-mail address in its normal form on a publicly accessible Web page. Post it in a form, such as "Jane AT isp DOT com," that can't be easily read by harvesting software.

B - Beware of viruses and hackers

8 - Don't open an e-mail attachment unless you were expecting it.

9 - Use anti-virus software and heed security alerts e-mailed directly from anti-virus vendors to download antidotes for newly circulating viruses and worms.

10 - Install a firewall with both incoming and outgoing protection.

11 - Regularly update your operating system, Web browser and other major software.

12 - Use passwords that are at least eight characters long that include at least one numeral and one symbol. Never disclose a password online.

13 - When you aren't using the computer, shut off the modem or the computer itself.

C - Beware of New Software Downloads

14 - Download and install software only from trusted sources. Close windows containing pop-up ads or unexpected warnings by closing the entire window, not by clicking within the window.

15 - clicking on "Agree" or "OK." Read any privacy statements. If they are difficult to find or include questionable practices, abort the installation by closing the window in which it's occurring.

16 - Adjust your Web browser's security settings. If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer 6, keep its security level at medium or higher to block Web sites from downloading a file without your authorization.

17 - Use updated anti-spyware software to scan your hard drive regularly. Always download it from a trusted site. Update the anti-spyware.

One good way to avoid popups is to use the Firefox
browser for surfing. This browser is faster than Internet Explorer and much safer and has a popup blocking feature. This option can be activated or de-activated easy. Download Firefox and enjoy a great popup-free faster surfing experience.