Spyware exploits are also used to obtain user information. Spyware analyzes what sites you visit and what your browsing habits are, and then invades your privacy further by using that information to market products to you, as well as by preventing you from removing the spyware.
You should periodically update every piece of software you install on your system. You can do this by installing the latest updates, hotfixes, security patches, and service packs. Keep on top of when new patches come out, and try to test and install them to keep your system at its best.
Windows Service Hardening (WSH) limits the amount of damage an attacker can do if a service is compromised.
Network Access Protection (NAP) is used to prevent clients from connecting to the network if they are infected with malware.
Improvements in Internet Explorer 7
Internet Explorer 7 comes with Windows Vista by default as the built-in Web browser. New features in Internet Explorer 7 help to prevent the inception and spread of malware. To help protect a users personal information and the security of Vista in general, Internet Explorer 7 comes with many advances in security, as well as tools that protect users from such malware attacks as phishing and spoofing. It also includes a new Protected Mode to further secure a users browsing experience.
The new outbound filtering feature in the Windows Firewall helps users to apply more granular control over traffic traversing the firewall.
User Account Control allows a user to change computer settings while running as a standard user.
The Windows Defender utility detects malware on your system and, when used in conjunction with SpyNet, can help to eliminate most spyware attacks and exploits.
Phishing is the exploit that hackers use to obtain personal information from unsuspecting users. The Microsoft Phishing Filter is new to Internet Explorer 7. It protects you from phishing attacks while you surf the Internet.