Malware is easy to prevent. It’s just hard to prevent it using the tools most people are told about. Anti-viruses, anti-malware, and firewalls with HIPS are solutions for the 90s. They are outdated, and were never very effective in the first place.
So what to use? Three things. An anti-executable, a sandbox, and light virtualization. These three things together, ensure that you cannot be infected with a drive-by malware install. Best of all, all of these things are free. I believe that everyone should use at least an anti-execuatable and a sandbox. Light virtualization offers great protection, but can be inconvenient and takes getting used to. Read the description if you’re interested in seeing if it’s a good fit.
Anti-Executable: VooDoo Shield
For anti-executable, I suggest VoodooShield. This operates in the background and makes sure that while you’re browsing the internet, no program can run without your explicit permission. This is how malware infections occur. Due to browser exploits, a malware file can execute code on your computer. VoodooShield prevents it from running.
For sandbox, I suggest Sandboxie. You run your browser in Sandboxie, and everything that happens, stays with the sandbox. If you come across something bad, it’s contained in the sandbox and can’t get out. When you wipe the sandbox, everything inside is gone. You can set up direct access to a folder for in case you want to save things from the browser, that will be saved to your actual system.
Light Virtualization: Time Freeze
For light virtualization, I suggest Toolwiz Time Freeze. This is the most major of the programs. And you may not want to use it, though it leads to the most rock-solid protection. What it does is basically what Sandboxie does with your browser, but to your entire system. So if you install a program, when you reboot, the changes are gone. Everything goes right back to how it was the last time you saved your OS.
You’ve probably seen a program like this at work in library or other places. Any changes you make, disappear on reboot. This ensures that even in the unlikely event that something manages to get past both VooDoo Shield AND Sandboxie, it’s still in vain, because it’s gone after you reboot.
Time Freeze can be inconvenient, however. Because you’re probably used to changes you make to the system instantly taking effect and remaining, it can take some getting used to, in order to remember that you have to explicitly tell Time Freeze to turn itself off, in order to do something like install a new program.
With these steps, you can ensure that you’ll never have problems with malware. Of course if you’ve been doing something different and it’s been working, there’s no need to change. This is advice for those who have had no luck with relying on popular advice and services like Geek Squad who make more money every time you get infected, so have little incentive to give you good protection. If you’d like to read more, Wilder’s Security Forum is the best source of information for both security and privacy.
Take care and stay safe :flag: