Caring for Your Computer
One of the most common ways to get spyware is to download illegal file sharing software and other less-than-reputable items from the Internet. Things are rarely free, always keep this in mind. Most of the time "free" software comes with less than desirable programs bundled in the install package. If you must install a program of this nature make very sure to read the license agreement because it will outline exactly what is being installed.
The best defense against spyware and other unwanted software is not to download it in the first place. Here are a few helpful tips that can protect you from downloading software you don't want:
Surf and download more safely
- Only download programs from web sites you trust. If you're not sure whether to trust a program you are considering downloading, enter the name of the program into your favorite search engine to see if anyone else has reported that it contains spyware.
- Read all security warnings, license agreements and privacy statements associated with any software you download.
- Never click "Agree" or "OK" to close a window. Instead, click the red "x" in the corner of the window or press Alt + F4 in Windows or Command key + W in OS X on your keyboard to close a window.
- Be wary of popular "free" music and movie file-sharing programs; be sure you understand all of the software packaged with those programs.
- Use a standard user account instead of an administrator account. For more information, see: Why use a standard account instead of an administrator account.
If you believe that spyware might be on your computer, ITS recommends that you start a full virus scan on your computer and that you contact the ITS Help Desk with the results.