Here are a few suggestions:
1. Use strong passwords:
Use different passwords for all your accounts. Also don't use easy passwords such as your favorite teams, bands or pets because this will allow people to guess your password.
You can use PC Tools Password Generator to create random passwords and then install an application like KeePass Password Safe to store them for easy access.If you do Online Banikng read the following article - Online Banking Protection Against Identity Theft. Also make sure you use HTTPS protocol with your banking websites.Use HTTPS When Login To Social Websites
2. Keep your software turned on and up-to-date
- Make sure your antivirus software is turned on and up-to-date.
- New viruses come out every minute, so it is essential that you have the latest signatures for your antivirus program to provide you with the best possible protection from malicious software.
- You should only have one antivirus installed at a time. Having more than one antivirus program installed at once is likely to cause conflicts and may well decrease your overall protection as well as impairing the performance of your PC.
- You should scan your computer with an AntiSpyware program like Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware on a regular basis just as you would an antivirus software.
- Be sure to check for and download any definition updates prior to performing a scan
- It is possible for other programs on your computer to have security vulnerability that can allow malware to infect you.
- Therefore, it is also a good idea to check for the latest versions of commonly installed applications that are regularly patched to fix vulnerabilities.
- You can check these by visiting Secunia Software Inspector or you can use the following application for this purpose PatchMyPC
3. Visit Microsoft's Windows Update Site Frequently
- It is important that you visit Windows Update regularly.
- This will ensure your computer has always the latest security updates available installed on your computer.
- If there are new updates to install, install them immediately, reboot your computer, and revisit the site until there are no more critical updates.
It is recommended to turn automatic updates on: Click here for more information.
4. Install HIPS based software
HIPS based software controls what an application is allowed to do and not allowed to do.
It monitors what each application tries to do, how it use the internet traffic and give you the ability to block any suspicious activity occurring on your computer.
In my opinion the best way to prevent an unknown malware from gaining access is to use some HIPS programs (like COMODO Firewall, PrivateFirewall, Online Armor, Outpost Security Suite Free etc.) to control the access rights of legitimate applications, although this would only be advisable for experienced users...
However, you should be aware though that (if you install Comodo Firewall and not the whole package Comodo Internet Security) this is not an replacement for a standard antivirus application. It's a great tool to add another layer of protection to your existent antivirus application. It takes some time and knowledge to configure it for individual purposes but once done, you should not have a problems with it.
There are many reviews on YouTube and blogs about all these programs.
Keep in mind to choose carefully in order to avoid conflicts or instability caused by incompatible security programs.
Also having more than one "real-time" program can be a drain on your PC's efficiency...
Another alternative is to use a profile with non-administrative rights.
5. Practice Safe Internet
One of the main reasons people get infected in the first place is that they are not practicing Safe Internet. You practice Safe Internet when you educate yourself on how to properly use the Internet through the use of security tools and good practice. Knowing how you can get infected and what types of files and sites to avoid will be the most crucial step in keeping your computer malware free. The reality is that the majority of people who are infected with malware are ones who click on things they shouldn't be clicking on. Whether these things are files or sites it doesn't really matter. If something is out to get you, and you click on it, it most likely will. Below are a list of simple precautions to take to keep your computer clean and running securely:
- If you receive an attachment from someone you do not know, DO NOT OPEN IT! Simple as that. Opening attachments from people you do not know is a very common method for viruses or worms to infect your computer.
- .exe, .com, .bat, .pif, .scr, .vb, .vbe, .vbs, .ws, .wsf, .shs, .hta, .jar, .js or .jse do not open the attachment unless you know for a fact that it is clean. For the casual computer user, you will almost never receive a valid attachment of this type.
- If you receive an attachment from someone you know, and it looks suspicious, then it probably is. The email could be from someone you know infected with a malware that is trying to infect everyone in their address book.
- If you are browsing the Internet and a popup appears saying that you are infected, ignore it!. These are, as far as I am concerned, scams that are being used to scare you into purchasing a piece of software. For an example of these types of popups, or Foistware, you should read this article:
Foistware, And how to avoid it. There are also programs that disguise themselves as Anti-Spyware or security products but are instead scams. For a list of these types of programs we recommend you visit this link: About Malwares, Rogues, Scarewares, SmitfraudFix
- Another tactic to fool you on the web is when a site displays a popup that looks like a normal Windows message or alert. When you click on them, though, they instead bring you to another site that is trying to push a product on you. We suggest that you close these windows by clicking on the X instead of the OK button. Alternatively, you can check to see if it's a real alert by right-clicking on the window. If there is a menu that comes up saying Add to Favorites... you know it's a fake.
- Do not go to adult sites. I know this may bother some of you, but the fact is that a large amount of malware is pushed through these types of sites. I am not saying all adult sites do this, but a lot do.
- When using an Instant Messaging program be cautious about clicking on links people send to you. It is not uncommon for infections to send a message to everyone in the infected person's contact list that contains a link to an infection. Instead when you receive a message that contains a link, message back to the person asking if it is legit before you click on it.
- Stay away from Warez and Crack sites! In addition to the obvious copyright issues, the downloads from these sites are typically overrun with infections. Avoid using cracks and unknown programs from sources you don't trust. There are MANY alternative open-source applications. Malware writers just love cracks and keygens, and will often attach malicious code into them. By using cracks and/or keygens, you are asking for problems. So my advice is - stay away from them!
- Be careful of what you download off of web sites and Peer-2-Peer networks. Some sites disguise malware as legitimate software to trick you into installing them and Peer-2-Peer networks are crawling with it. If you want to download a piece of software a from a site, and are not sure if they are legitimate, you can use McAfee Siteadvisor to look up info on the site. Note: skip this advice if your antivirus have a Web Guard.
- DO NOT INSTALL any software without first reading the End User License Agreement, otherwise known as the EULA. A tactic that some developers use is to offer their software for free, but have spyware and other programs you do not want bundled with it. This is where they make their money. By reading the agreement there is a good chance you can spot this and not install the software.
6. Tweak your browsers
To prevent further infections be sure to install the following add-ons NoScript and AdBlock Plus.
Adblock Plus hides all those annoying (and potentially dangerous) advertisements on websites that try and tempt you to buy or download something. AdBlock not only speeds up your browsing and makes it easier on your eyes, but also makes it safer.
Adblock Plus can be found here.
NoScript is only for advanced users as it blocks all the interactive parts of a webpage, such as login options. Obviously you wouldn’t want to block your ability to log on to your internet banking or your webmail, but thankfully you can tell NoScript to allow certain websites and block others. This is very useful to ensure that the website you’re visiting is not trying to tempt you to interact with another, more dangerous website.
NoScript can be found here
It is advisable to do a backup of your existing profile using Mozbackup or FEBE.
If you like Google Chrome there are many similar extensions for this browser as well. Since I am not a Google Chrome user I can't tell you which of them are good and how they work. You should find out by yourself.
However Google Chrome can block a lot of unknown malware because of his sandbox.Beware of the fact that Google Chrome doesn't provide master password protection for your saved in the browser passwords. Check this out: Google Chrome security flaw offers unrestricted password access
For Internet Explorer 9/10 read the articles below:
Security and privacy features in Internet Explorer 9
Enhanced Protected Mode
Use Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer
Security in Internet Explorer 10
Immunize your browsers with SpywareBlaster 5 and Spybot Search and Destroy 1.6
Also MBAM acquired the following software Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and it should work with the most popular browsers. Beware the product is in beta stage.
7. Disable the dangerous services you don't need and don't use like Remote Registy, Server, SSDP Discovery, RemoteAccess etc. It's a good idea to disable the autorun using the following tool to prevent spreading of the infections from USB flash drives.
8. Make the hidden files and known extensions visible:
Be wary of files with a double extension such as jpg.exe. As a default setting, Windows often hides common file extensions, meaning that a program like image.jpg.exe will appear to you as simply image.jpg. Double extensions exploit this by hiding the second, dangerous extension and reassuring you with the first one.Check this out - Show or hide file name extensions. About the hidden files check this out - How to see hidden files in Windows (keep in mind to NOT delete hidden files and folders if you are unsure they are malicious. Many legitime system files and folders are hidden and there is a good reason for that. Editing or deleting these files can cause your Operating System to crash.
9. Create an image of your system (backup, backup and backup you important documents regularly).
- Now when your pc is malware free it is a good idea to do a backup of all important files just in case something happens it.
- Macrium Reflect is very good choice that enables you to create an image of your system drive which can be restored in case of problems.
- The download link is here.
- The tutorials can be found here.
- Be sure to read the tutorial first.
Follow this list and your potential for being infected again will reduce dramatically.
You can read the following articles as well:
How did I get infected in the first place?
How to prevent Malware:
Edited by B-boy/StyLe/, 14 August 2013 - 10:12 AM.