Step-by-Step Guide

Step 7: Install service packs to prevent spyware infections

Microsoft realized it left the doors -- or rather, the windows – in Internet Explorer wide open to spyware, and made a number of important changes to Internet Explorer 6 in Windows XP Service Pack 2. IE now no longer allows BHOs to install themselves without explicit user permission, thus preventing the vast majority of browser-based spyware from getting a toehold in one's computer.

Installing XP SP2 on any new Windows computer should be more or less mandatory at this point. All factory-built systems come slipstreamed with it, and any existing systems that aren't already patched ought to be. Normally, one installs SP2 through Windows Update, but if you'd rather do it by hand, or burn it to CD for the sake of updating multiple computers easily, Microsoft makes it available as a single download.

However, XP SP2 doesn't block the installation of spyware that comes bundled with other applications. To do so would be prohibitively difficult and might also break many legitimate programs as well.

How to remove spyware

 Home: Introduction
 Step 1: Get familiar with spyware now if not already
 Step 2: Know where spyware comes from
 Step 3: Recognize how spyware acts
 Step 4: Understand what damage spyware can cause
 Step 5: Choose tools to clean up spyware
 Step 6: Use these advanced techniques to clean up spyware
 Step 7: Install service packs to prevent spyware infections
 Step 8: Take additional initiatives to prevent spyware infections
 Step 9: Plan ahead for new spyware tactics

Serdar Yegulalp
Serdar Yegulalp is the editor of the Windows 2000 Power Users Newsletter. Check it out for the latest advice and musings on the world of Windows network administrators -- and please share your thoughts as well!
Copyright 2005 TechTarget

This was first published in June 2005

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