Residence Hall Setup: Popups and Spyware

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Popups and Spyware

Home Security

Do you know what spyware is? Actual spyware can be installed solely for the specific purpose of monitoring everything that's done on a machine. However, there's another type of spyware that comes as a part of Advertising Supported software (Adware). Adware permits you to use software at a reduced price or free because advertising is picking up part of the bill. Sounds good, doesn't it? Unfortunately, this software also places tracking software on your system.

With spyware on your machine, your resources are used by "calling home" in effect, as your actions are being reported. If you see new toolbars in your Internet Explorer that you didn't intentionally install, if your browser crashes, or if your browser Start page has changed, you may have spyware installed on your machine. Frequent pop-ups are also a symptom that you have spyware on your machine. An additional undesirable side effect of spyware is that companies can harvest your information and send you spam.

We recommend you protect your home computer from viruses and spyware in a variety of ways.

PC system protection: The Microsoft site: http://www.microsoft.com/protect/ will walk you through enabling automatic updates, turning on a personal firewall AND will give you a free copy of antivirus software for one year.

For spyware detection / removal, we recommend Ad-aware or Spybot Search & Destroy. They are both compatible with Microsoft® Windows® 98/Me/NT/2000 and XP Home and Professional. They are free for home use.

Pop-up Blocking

Install the Google toolbar if you use Internet Explorer. Open www.google.com and choose Services and Tools. Choose Google Toolbar. Then choose Download Google Toolbar. There are some legitimate pages that use pop-ups---including the SamWeb administrative site. When they appear, you may choose to Always permit pop-ups from this site.

If you'd like to try a new browser, we can suggest Firefox.