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How can you stop malware from infecting your computer?

The word “malware” refers to anything which is meant to compromise your computer. It can refer to viruses, or software meant to damage your computer. It can refer to Trojans, or software which makes your computer vulnerable to hackers.

The word “malware” refers to anything which is meant to compromise your computer.It can refer to viruses, or software meant to damage your computer.It can refer to Trojans, or software which makes your computer vulnerable to hackers. It can also refer to adware or spyware, or software which is meant to display advertisements or collect data without consent.Malware can be found in several areas of the internet, whether it is on peer-to-peer networks, wide area networks, websites, or just a local area network between trusted computers.Once installed, malware can be very difficult to remove and can cause your computer to be a nuisance rather than a boon.In extreme cases, reinstallation of the operating system is the only viable way of removing an infection.

In short, your computer is meant to be devoid of malware and you should feel safe when using the internet instead of fearing the worst from any action you perform.

Well, you could succumb to the idea that malware will inevitably install itself in one way or another, and attempt to use your favorite malware removers like popular AntiSpyware or AntiVirus products to remove the malware.While this is a viable option, it fails to address the aggressive nature of malware.Malware is constantly being developed and constantly evolving, rooting itself in places that some antivirus products are unable to clean with a rate greater than security software titles are able to keep pace.

So if removal is not the best option, then what is?The answer is “prevention”. Preventing an infection is not only easier than removing it later, but it is guaranteed to stop a threat from escalating into a major problem.

Prevention in security applications is done through forms of protection, where a resident application of some sort prevents malware from executing itself.Three major forms of protection exist:

* The most common form of protection exists in the form of a program which runs in the memory, monitoring any and all attempted changes to the system and alerting the user of such.While this method is effective in blocking several types of malware, malware has developed to the point where it can circumvent and defeat this level of protection rather handily. Unfortunately, several free and commercial applications continue to employ this level of protection and market it as a cure-all level of protection.

* A higher level of protection exists as a system service.The service usually comes with self defense (the ability to prevent termination unlike resident applications in the memory) and will block more types of malware.Several free and commercial applications employ this level of protection, with some titles coupling it with a resident memory application as explained above.Unfortunately, there also exists a good amount of malware which can install itself using an even higher level of access which circumvents this service-level protection.

* The highest level of protection, the “higher level of access” mentioned above, is available only in the most advanced of applications, where the prevention exists in the form of a system driver which monitors the computer at the highest layer available for a computer.System drivers are the first things that an operating system loads, associating them with the kernel component.The kernel component manages resources and communication between computer hardware and operating system software; it is the first line of access that software, including malware, must cross.Software which provides protection for the kernel component can prevent almost all forms of malware in existence today.Usually, this kind of protection is only found in commercial applications; however, Spyware Terminator is a free application which includes this level of protection free of charge.Host Intrusion Prevention System, or HIPS for short, is the kernel layer protection that these applications, including Spyware Terminator, employ.This is the most popular and the preferred form of protection of this type because rather than focusing on the activity of an attack HIPS will instead focus on the behavior of the attack.When an application, whether safe or malicious, attempts to run or install a request is made to the kernel.These requests will be intercepted by the HIPS and will be allowed or prevented to execute based on its behavioral patterns.

It is important to note that any kind of prevention system, even the advanced kernel level layer of protection that programs like Spyware Terminator employ, is by no means a way to remove preexisting infections of malware.Several programs which only provide protection will prevent future infection, but have no means of removing preexisting infection.Similarly, some programs which provide a means of removing preexisting infection do not come with the ability to prevent future infection (through the ways of protection discussed above).However, Spyware Terminator not only provides the kernel level layer of protection but provides a free, effective removal engine that is used in conjunction with the HIPS to ensure a clean computer.

At least some form of protection is highly recommended, but, unfortunately, most users decide not to run even the lowest level of these systems of protection as they believe them to be a hindrance on the performance of their computer.However no user should use performance as a reason to avoid running these systems of protection with the state of computers today.Some users will cite fiscal reasons for avoiding this kind of protection.This is why programs like Spyware Terminator exist.Some people do not mind paying for this kind of protection, but programs like Spyware Terminator make it possible for everyone to have free protection from malware.Other users believe that scanning their computer with several removal systems and visiting only safe sites will prevent malware.However, today’s aggressive and hidden forms of malware can escalate a simple infection into a major problem that the most effective of malware removers can not handle.Preventing the infection before it happens is the only effective way to stop a major malware infection.

Albert Einstein once said, “Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them.”

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