BluePhone Personal Tech Experts Offer 5 Ways to Avoid Adware and Malware

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Beware! New adware and malware threats are identified all the time, and even regular browsing can leave computers exposed. Be most careful when considering downloading anything off the Internet, and if doing so, consider these five tips to ensure that playing it safe is playing it smart.

Most people have systems in place to protect their computers and vital information when they're browsing the Internet. However, with new adware and malware threats identified regularly, and with so many the free software and games now available online, any browsing or downloading can leave a computer exposed, especially if the user is unaware what to look out for. Since adware and malware removal are more difficult than prevention, it makes sense to be educated and prevent a malware infection before it happens.

Be most careful when considering downloading anything off the Internet, and if doing so, consider these five tips to ensure that playing it safe is playing it smart.

1. Be proactive – Have inbound and outbound firewall-enabled plus antivirus and anti-spyware software installed. This will alert that someone is trying to access a targeted computer to put software on it. Major antivirus companies have adware and malware protection combined. Norton and CA are popular suite options. AVG, Avira and Avast, offers free stand-alone anti-virus software while Lavasoft and SuperAntiSpyware offer free stand-alone anti-spyware software.

It's also a good idea use a broadband router instead of directly connecting your computer to a high-speed modem. Most broadband routers include a hardware firewall which provides additional protection. Finally, ensure that you have all the latest security updates for your operating system and applications by visiting the manufacturer's websites or turning on automatic updates.

2.Stick to familiar websites – When searching for common information, make sure it is from a reputable source. If during the search the site that pops up is not recognized, at the very least, be wary of the links and downloads offered on that site. Popular, heavy-traffic sites such as About, YouTube, MSN, Yahoo, Wikipedia, and any number of familiar news sites are sure to be safer bets.

3. Download from reputable sites – Downloading presents the greatest danger of introducing adware or malware into a system. Accidentally downloading an unwanted program instead of the one that is really wanted is a common mistake. As well, downloading one program only to have it bundled with potentially unwanted software program can be a problem. Reputable downloads sites like CNET Download.com, Softonic and Softpedia offer editor and user ratings for more insight into other people's experiences with a particular program.

4. Check for unfamiliar programs - Every now and then, it's a good idea to check the programs listed in the computer control panel to see if there are programs that you don't recognize. If something doesn't look like it belongs there and it can be identified as unnecessary, remove it. If it cannot be determined what exactly it is, search for that particular program online, or run a scan with one of the options outlined in step five.

5. Run regular scans - Anti-virus and anti-spyware software should be running regular and automatic system scans to detect issues. Real-time protection should be turned on as well as automatic updates. Research continues to show that people are commonly infected by malware simply because it was not up-to-date.

By following these five guidelines, you can increase your chances of staying safe online. Additionally, certified experts such as BluePhone can help with these five guidelines to ensure that proper precautions are taken with properly installed protection. And in the event that a mistake has been made, they can uninstall malicious programs and make everything right again. To see first-hand, register for the BluePhone two-week free trial and enjoy full, unlimited access to BluePhone Personal Tech Experts.

About BluePhone
BluePhone is a leading online computer support company committed to helping our members get the most out of their PC, Macs, software applications and connected devices. Using remote-desktop technology by Cisco WebEx™ to diagnose, repair, and optimize your computer, we resolve hundreds of computer problems every day. Our success is measured by the quality of service and satisfaction we provide each of our members, and we are proud of earning a best-in-industry 98% customer satisfaction rating. BluePhone Personal Tech Experts are certified solution engineers who diagnose and fix problems that plague computer users daily - security, configuration, desktop performance - and things like how to organize digital photos or making sure your MP3 is giving you maximum enjoyment. BluePhone Personal Tech Experts are extensively trained and certified to resolve nearly any computer software problem, offer expert advice, and troubleshoot and fix hardware issues. BluePhone membership includes unlimited assistance for all the computers in a household (up to 3 PCs or Macs) for $199.95 per year, monthly membership for $24.95, or one-time service calls for $89. BluePhone offers a money back guarantee. Members get assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year by phone, email, chat or remote computer access. For additional information, visit http://www.bluephone.com or call 877-442-BLUE (877-442-2583).

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