Kill The Spyware Scourge

Providing anti-virus protection for networks and PCs has been second nature for years for network administrators. But unfortunately, they're ignoring what is turning into as big a threat -- spyware.

March 22, 2005

2 Min Read
Network Computing logo

Providing anti-virus protection for networks and PCs has been second nature for years for network administrators. But unfortunately, they're ignoring what is turning into as big a threat -- spyware.

Part of the problem is that up until recently, there haven't been enterprise-wide anti-spyware tools, although as we show this week in a quick review of five anti-spyware apps, that's changing.

Another reason for network administrators ignoring the danger is that spyware has been seen as a nuisance rather than as a threat, and one that's seen as being isolated on user desktops.

But spyware is here to stay, and the problem is getting worse. And network administrators ignore it at their own peril. They shouldn't count on government action to help, because legislation may make the problem worse.

So shat should network administrators do? Here are a few simple steps you can take today to protect yourself:

  • Switch all users to a safer browser. Internet Explorer is extremely vulnerable to spyware. So do what companies, universities, and government researchers have started doing -- use a safer browser, like Firefox.

  • Install anti-spyware on all desktops and laptops. Make sure that it includes real-time protection. Most free anti-spyware tools don't do that. The exception is the beta of Microsoft AntiSpyware. If you're looking for a non-beta product, WebRoot Spy Sweeper is a great choice.

  • Keep all systems updated. Make sure they all have the latest security patches. Make sure that your anti-spyware software has the latest definitions and is up to date as well.

  • Install enterprise-level anti-spyware protection. To find the best, check out our quick review of five anti-spyware apps.

It's time to take the spyware threat seriously; treat it the same way you do viruses and hackers -- with all the tools in your arsenal.0

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
Stay informed! Sign up to get expert advice and insight delivered direct to your inbox
More Insights