Ugh, we all hate them, some of us even change browsers or operating systems to avoid them. Those annoying programs that install themselves are the scourge of the internet. How do you avoid the problems they cause? Diligence is the answer. You have to be aware of every window that opens, no more Kazaa or Limewire, make sure your Windows Service Packs and updates are, well, up-to-date :P! I don’t have an all inclusive answer for you, but, I can tell you how I protect myself. And here lies those tips:

1. Run Windows Update NOW! Get Service Pack 2 and all the other little hot fixes and whatnot.

2. Install an AntiVirus program like Nortan AV 2005 or a free alternative is AVG Free. Some other Free favorites of mine include Adaware, Spybot S&D and Swat it Trojan Remover.

3. Uninstall all P2P programs (Kazaa, Limewire, etc..), they are fountains of evil! There are better ways, safer ways to aquire backup’s of your media, like bittorrent or irc with programs like mIRC. There’s some great tutorials over at DebateRoom.com, read them, learn them, young padawan!

4. Ditch internet explorer, yuk. Get Get Firefox!! Firefox is t3h s3ksi3 br0wsA. Or if you must keep ie at least get the Google Toolbar with popup blocker and other cool tools. Uninstall the ghetto “mysearch” bar or any others, in fact this leads to numero 5.

5. Uninstall all unused or unwanted programs now! Goto Start> Control Panel> Add/Remove Programs and get rid of any programs that you don’t need or want. If your not sure what a certain program does, google it! I usually go in once every couple of weeks and remove unused programs or, imagine that, programs I didnt install at all:D

6. Use an alternate OS like Mac OS X or Linux. I’ve been using a couple of iMacs for a year now and have no problems, except my own ignorance of Panther/Jaguar and trying to install Linux on my indigo, hehe. Linux just naturally has fewer problems and increased security. If you want a general purpose computer that doesnt play alot of games, I’d get an iMac G5, I <3 my G5. Or if you want a Free Operating System that is super versatile and runs on just about anything, go Linux. You can research and download the differant Distro’s @ DistroWatch or LinuxISO.

7. Never click a link in a chat window unless it’s from a trusted source. Be it Yahoo Messenger, Aim Instant Messenger or mIRC. If I get a PM from an unknown entity with a link to a website in it, I immediately put that username on ignore and close the window. Aww, there’s no Blue Link 😛 it’s ok, this isn’t a chat window, hehe!

8. 9. 10. Well I wanted to do 10, but I have 7 for now. Sure, there’s a ton more, but, I will add a few more later. Like, one on GET A FIREWALL!

compliments of amishjim.com