How do I Block Spyware?

G. Wiesen

There are a number of different ways in which you can avoid and block spyware from being installed onto your computer. One way is to have an antivirus or spyware blocking program on your computer and keep the program updated. You should also be sure that your web browser is updated regularly and consider using web browser add-ons that can help protect you from spyware. Safe computer practices and avoiding certain types of websites and download services can also play a large part in helping you block spyware.

Spyware tracks how a computer is used.
Spyware tracks how a computer is used.

Spyware are computer programs that can be installed onto your computer without you knowing it, similar to a virus. While a virus will typically begin to corrupt your system and make changes to your software that can make using your computer impossible, spyware typically remains unseen and can be used for other purposes. Some spyware will monitor the websites you visit to transmit that information to another program, which will then infect your computer with popup advertisements for a similar service. While this is certainly annoying, some spyware can also determine your usernames and passwords to various websites, and send that information to people who may use it illegally.

Windows users are encouraged to regularly scan their computers and laptops for spyware.
Windows users are encouraged to regularly scan their computers and laptops for spyware.

One of the best ways to block spyware is to install an antivirus program on your computer. While you can also use a program specifically designed to block spyware to protect your computer, most antivirus programs will also protect you from spyware. You should try to find a single comprehensive program, since multiple programs can sometimes identify each other as threats and actually turn off your protection. It is also important to keep your program updated so it can protect your system from and look for the latest threats.

Another way to block spyware from your computer is to keep your web browser program updated and consider using an add-on to protect your system. Spyware can often get onto your computer through exploiting a flaw in web browsers, so you should be sure your web browser has the latest security updates. There are also add-ons that can be installed to protect you from websites that may try to install programs onto your computer without notifying you.

You can also block spyware in large part by utilizing safe computer practices. When downloading a program, try to download only from websites with a reputation for safe downloads. You should also avoid downloading programs and files through peer-to-peer programs whenever possible to help block spyware from reaching your computer. One study found that as many as 30% of files on one such file sharing network contained some form of malware, and avoidance is one of the best forms of computer protection.

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