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ACXInstall: What It Is and How to Protect Your PC

ACXInstall is a malicious ActiveX program that installs itself on your computer without your consent. Once it is installed, it will display pop-up advertisements, unexplained icon links, and task bar balloons, to name a few things. It is also capable of installing dialers in your PC that access paid pornographic websites.

How ACXInstall Works

ACXInstall is one of the most dangerous ActiveX controls that can infect your computer. This is because it uses one or more methods to infect your PC which allows it to take complete control of your PC's operating system.

  • EULA: ACXInstall can enter your PC though an End User License Agreement from a legitimate program. If you download something that is supposed to be legitimate make sure you read the entire agreement.
  • Browser Vulnerabilities: ACXInstall can install itself through a vulnerability in your Web browser software and can also bypass firewall security by disguising itself as legitimate software.
  • Chat Programs: Your computer can be infected with ACXInstall through file sharing programs that you use with Instant Messenger programs.
  • Email Attachments: ACXInstall will disguise itself in an email attachment that appears to be from a known sender.

In addition to the methods in which ACXInstall enters your PC, once it installs itself it is also capable of repairing and updating itself. This includes other malware that accompanies the download of ACXInstall. Since ACXInstall is capable of repairing itself, it can make it difficult to remove with an anti-malware program or through attempts to remove it manually from the Windows registry. There are programs available such as STOPzilla that are specially designed for removing ACXInstall and providing malware protection.

How to Protect Your PC from ACXInstall

  • Install a Reliable Anti-Virus Software: Make sure your anti-virus program is from a reputable company such as McAfee or Norton, and that it includes an anti-malware removal program. A reputable program will also perform regular scans and updates for new viruses and malware. The anti-malware scanner should also scan for updates on new forms of malware and new ACXInstall files, in addition to providing malware protection.
  • Update Windows Security: Activate the automatic Windows Update in your operating system by clicking on "Tools" on the toolbar in Internet Explorer, choosing "Windows Updates" and then "Product Updates." Choose "All High Priority Updates" and then set your browser security under "Internet Options."
  • Enable Your Firewall: Keep the firewall enabled that is included with your Windows operating system. This will help to prevent ACXInstall from accessing your PC and sending your personal information and computer activity to a remote server.
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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser