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Keeping Your Business Safe From Adware

Adware Protection

Adware is becoming one of the top malware problems today in businesses around the world. Before, businesses only had to worry about protecting their computers and networks in their organization. However, today it goes way beyond the doors of your company. With all the new BYOD programs, cloud computing, smartphones, apps, and shared networks, business have more to worry about as far as how they can keep adware out of their computer networks.

Adware creators know that any logical person won’t allow this program to install on their computer. Therefore the creators of adware need to find ways to install their software that you don’t suspect. Your IT department needs to keep tight controls on your network and this includes what your employees are installing on their laptops, smartphones, tablets, and a computers. However, if you educate your employees, on what to look for, you can prevent adware from installing on your network. Teach your employees how adware can be installed and what to look for to prevent it from being installed.

3 Common Ways AdWare Is Installed On Your Computer

Piggybacking

Adware or malware comes bundled with a piece of legitimate software that you install on your computer. The installation program is labeled “companion software” and doesn’t indicate what the software is or how it is used. Therefore, your company needs strict policies about downloading and installing software on your computers. Most adware programs come bundled with entertainment programs such as Kazaa for music. However, adware is not limited to entertainment programs and comes bundled with search tools or software cracks for legitimate business software. The job of your IT department is to make sure nobody uses illegal cracked software in your business. How can your IT department prevent bundled package malware from infecting your network?

  1. Create strict policies for all your employees that forbid them from downloading and installing any software on your computers without the approval of your IT department.
  2. Your IT department needs complete control of all computers in your network. Therefore, your IT administrator needs to block each computer on your network so employees can’t install software without the permission of your IT department.
  3. Ban all pirated software, cracks, and entertainment software from your office computers.
  4. If your employees use their own laptops, smartphones, or tablets at work have a partition inside the hard drive that separates business from pleasure software. Employees then can’t use their personal device at work to surf the web or download software or music. The only connection an employee can use at work is the approved business software for your company.
  5. Never install software that comes bundled with another software package. If the software manufacturer needed to install a bundled package of software on your computer the software would be installed at the same time as the original software package.

Bait and Switch

Adware creators are finding it harder to get their software installed on computers. Therefore, they now label the software as a browser plug-in so the person will accept and install the program. Unfortunately, this plug-in only displays ads on the computer and isn’t what it claims. Before accepting and installing software on your computer, ask yourself this:

  1. What does the software do and how can it benefit me?
  2. Why is the software free if it does all it says?

Falsely identifying the software

The creators of malware have labeled their programs with names of trusted software or critical updates for your operating system. This form of adware is difficult to fight and remove from your computer. If your IT department detects malware on your network follow these steps to isolate and remove the malware.

  1. Remove the infected computer from the network.
  2. Install an adware or malware detection program on the computer.
  3. Scan the computer for all malware and adware.
  4. Remove all malware and adware from the computer.
  5. Install an anti-spyware program on the computer.
  6. Scan the computer for spyware.
  7. Remove the spyware from the computer.
  8. Update your anti-virus program with the latest software update.
  9. Scan your computer with your anti-virus program.
  10. Remove all viruses from the computer.
  11. Clean all registries and directories that are infected or installed with the malware.
  12. Install all updates and patches for your operating system.
  13. Check all computers in your network for malware.

Image: flickr.com

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