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Bot-nets some ways to slow them or block them

The first step to minimse the amount of spyware on your computer is to always keep the operating system and applications current to the most recent release. All software is subject to a constant revision process as new security vulnerabilities are found and patches to correct the problem are issued.

Close on the heels of keeping your operating system up to date is to keep your antivirus program datafiles current. For most this means an annual renewal fee. The importance of keeping your antivirus search files up to date can not be emphasised enough daily, weekly and even hourly new viruses and spyware are being found. Fortunately most antivirus programs have an automatic feature to regularly check to see is you virus data file is current. Always activate this update feature if available

The next step is in the area of be an educated user. Do not follow pop ups that mysteriously appear in your browser. It is recommended to avoid sites that are known to often have malware on them, many of these sites are known as drive by sites. Even the simple act of casually visiting them could infect you with malware. Two common types of sites that are known to infect a drive by user are on line gambling and many porn sites.

In addition to scanning your computer regularly for viruses scan it for spyware as well, This is not always as easy as it sounds it should be. There are many free system scanners, unfortunately some are also secret malware installers as well.

To the best of my knowledge the following are all free (many also have a commercial version as well) and they are not generally considered to install their own brand of malware.

•Ad-Aware •No Adware•
•Spybot Search and Destroy•     •Spyware Blaster AntiSpyWare Spyware nuker•
•Ashampoo• •XoftSpySE•
X •XoftSpy free scan•

I suggest running all of them but will caution you to use at your own risk.

After you have checked and probably cleaned some spyware off your computer it is recommended that you run a registry cleanup program such as Registry Fix
There are others but these should give you a good start in getting ahead of your spyware enfestation. Some of these applications can be installed to regularly monitor for new malware ,This is a good feature to activate. A fire wall is also stringy recommended as another way to foil spyware.
The best way to install a firewall is to set it up to deny any traffic except on the absolute necessary ports. What is a computer port. A rather confusing topic. If you think of your computer as a house a rather different house with over 65,00 back doors and 65,000 windows. The best way one could deal with this many days and windows is to lock all of them and just unlock the ones you need to unlock. Depending on your use of the computer system you will need to unlock very few "doors" For basic access you will need to unlock the following ports TCP 80, 443, and 53. For email you will probably end up opening 25 and 110. Other use such as Instant messaging may also need to have a port opened for them. A full explanation of how to set up a firewall is very dependent on the particular fire wall you choose.

To block IRC Closing ports 6665-6669. Not a guarantee that you have closed IRC off but a good start

The list of ports to close to block Instant Messaging is large and a determined person can still find their way through. To block HTTP tunneling requires advanced skills with a comprehensive firewall. For most it is best to place ones faith more in the various antimal ware software systems. I strongly recommend that one not use IRC or instant messaging Many will object to not using Instant Messaging. Unfortunately it is one of the leading access points for bots to compromise your computer. Even if you are only using IM to communicate with friends, the friend's computer may have been compromised and it could affect yours. The friend could be using a public computer and that computer in the Internet Cafe may have been compromised.

Don't follow a link in a spam sent to you even if it looks tempting, Many of these links lead to drive by infection sites.

My personal favourite is always use a router/network translation device between your computer and the internet. Many already are doing this, usually if you have 2 or more computers on the same internet connection you have already installed one.

Of course the good old standby of don't open attachments from people you don't know and even then only if you know the friend sent it to you. Following these steps will not guarantee you will be malware free but, they will certainly reduce your rate of infection or chance of being compromised by spyware.

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