The following is the ITKnowledge Exchange Tip of the Week for Feb.28, 2005.
I would like to implement something to reduce the chances of users being hit by spyware, adware and malware while surfing the Internet. What kind of systems would you recommend?
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Also, don't underestimate the power of policy and user awareness education. Usually, this type of software is loaded from a user's activity on the Web. If you can convince your users to behave themselves, you'll see fewer problems.
Most larger organizations are turning to user education. I myself do a 30-minute presentation to groups called "The State of Spyware," and it's had a good effect in terms of educating people to the sorts of problems that occur with spyware -- and in getting them to curtail some of their own activity. Another approach that anybody (with the time) can do for free is to set up a copy of snort to watch the Internet connection when using the bleeding-edge malware/virus rules from bleedingsnort.com. They're not perfect (which is why they're on bleeding snort), but they do an amazing job of catching things -- and if you've got one system with some identifiable stuff on it, chances are there's more as well.
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