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Spyware Tech Tips*

“How do I keep spyware from turning my computer into a zombie?”


Install antispyware solutions on your computer.  I recommend Spybot and Malwarebytes.  These free scanners (Please read their license agreements before using) like antivirus software antispyware solutions must have the latest updates to be effective so be sure to get the updates before using.

Hosts File

A good hosts file can be an invaluable asset.  A good one is available from mvps.org and can be downloaded here This host file works by keeping the computer from going to a dangerous website. All websites are accessed by an IP address, these addresses are translated to and from friendly names like www.hfcswabash.com so that humans and the internet can interact easily.  The reason a hosts file works is because a computer looks at its own host file before it looks for a DNS server.  If an internet link points to a bad website listed in the hosts file the hosts file tells the browser to look at which is the loopback IP address.  Essentially the browser goes nowhere and your computer is protected.  As with antispyware solutions a good hosts file must be updated.  There are new problem websites being built every day.


Instead of constantly updating your hosts file you can set your DNS settings to and alternate like OpenDNS.  These alternates are often more functional than the ones that your ISP gives by default.


Use a firewall, FREE Comodo Firewall by Comodo makes a software firewall that is free to all users.

Best Practices

Be careful where you surf.  While there is no guarantee at any time, there are certain neighborhoods on the web that are more dangerous than others.  A good rule of thumb is that if it is morally questionable it is dangerous.  File sharing (read music sharing) programs are another source of problems.  Free software is another source, unless there is good reason to trust the source it may be best to stay away from it.  Screen savers and desktop wallpaper downloads are also dangerous.

This is a good article written by Kim Kommando that will help you secure your computer.


* Not responsible for problems caused by the use of these tips.  Tips are provided for informational purposes only.

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