The following is the ITKnowledge Exchange Tip of the Week for Feb.28, 2005.
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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?
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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