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Prevent Spyware infections on Windows XP with FireFox
If you are running the popular Windows XP Operating System and your computer is connected to the internet then you are susceptible to the installation of unwanted programs known as Spyware. There are a few measures you can take to help protect yourself from this unwanted software. Spyware is a program that is usually installed on your computer without your knowledge, these programs can subject you to un-wanted advertisements in the form of popups and some can even help in the stealing of your identity. It has been reported that up to 90% of all computers connected to the internet may be infected with these types of malware programs.
You can take some steps to help minimize the risks these programs pose to your computing environment. First is to ensure you have the latest security patches for the Windows XP operating system and ensure you have a firewall such as the Windows XP firewall implemented. You should have Windows XP Service pack 2 installed and unless you have good reason you should let Service Pack 2 enable all the default settings to protect your computer both from SpyWare and other malware type applications such as Viruses and security vulnerabilities.
Another measure you can take is to stop using Internet Explorer as the application for your browsing. There are other Internet Browsers available for free that do not suffer from the same security vulnerabilities that have plagued Internet Explorer. The Mozilla based Firefox browser offers many of the same features that you get with Internet Explorer, but because the Firefox browser is not as tightly couple with the Operating system means it is less susceptible to these security holes. Also because it is not a Microsoft product, means it is not as large of a target as Internet Explorer is. This is not to say the Firefox is not susceptible to malicious code, it is, but the risk is less than the more popular Internet Explorer Browser. Many users actually star to like the features Firefox gives them once they become used to the browser more than they like Internet Explorer. The two can exist on the same system without any issues so you can go give Firefox a try at
Utilizing the Firefox browser along with applying the latest updates to your operating system and ensuring you have a firewall installed will greatly reduce your chances of becoming infected with Spyware type applications. Now you should still practice due diligence and be careful of the types of web sites you visit as this will also help you to prevent the installation of this type of software on your computer. You should also remember the golden rule in Information Technology circles. When presented with a question about an action to take. If you are not sure, then always answer No to the prompt you are being presented with at the time. Make sure you understand the implications of software installation before you install anything on your computer.