We’ve already shown you that you don’t need to pay for Windows security, but today we’re going to take a closer look at protecting yourself from drive-by malware that infects you by simply visiting the wrong web site.
Naturally, everything in the last article still applies, and you should definitely give it a read through if you haven’t already; paying special attention to keeping your PC updated is the main key to protecting yourself against drive-by malware.
What Is Drive-By Malware?
Drive-by malware infects your computer by exploiting a vulnerability in your browser, browser plug-ins, or by opening a file in a hidden frame and exploiting a security hole in an application like Adobe Reader. Think you only browse safe sites? They’ve also been known to hijack advertisements on popular sites. We’ll take a quick tour through some of the best ways to protect yourself.
Readers should note that we’re assuming that you’re already using an antivirus application — if you aren’t, check out the five best antivirus applications.
Disable, Kill or Uninstall Adobe Reader
Next you’ll need to head into Firefox Options -> Applications, and look for the PDF file item in the list — if it doesn’t exist, that’s fine. If it does, change the value to Always ask or Save File instead.
FlashBlock Disables Annoying Animations, Protects You
Disable ALL Unnecessary Plug-ins
On my Firefox installation, the only plug-in that I have enabled is Adobe Flash, and I’m using Flashblock to make sure that it only runs when I tell it to. Why? The vast majority of the web sites that I visit use Flash, but very few of them use Java, Silverlight and none of them need the .NET Framework Assistant — there’s no reason to keep all of these plug-ins enabled when what we really want is a nice trim Firefox install. Just head into Tools -> Add-ons, head to the Plugins tab, and start disabling everything else that you don’t use.
Keep Your System Updated
Serious Security: Use a Virtual Machine
How do you protect yourself from drive-by malware attacks and keep your system secure? Share your methods in the comments.