How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

Summary: The traditional role of security software is to scan incoming files and block those that it knows are dangerous. Unfortunately, the bad guys have figured out how to get around that sort of system. More modern security solutions supplement virus definitions and scanning with software that checks for suspicious behavior. They are also able to check the reputation of a website or a specific file and make it much more likely you'll make the correct trust decisions.In this slide show, I look at how the three most popular browsers for Windows are adding these types of features. I also look at new versions of security software from some old names. Surprisingly, both Trend Micro and Norton are doing innovative work that goes beyond mere scanning.

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  • Google allows you to check the status of a site using this online tool. In this case, though, the information is inaccurate. The site in question has indeed been serving up malware for more than 72 hours, but it hasn’t been visited by a Google crawler lately and thus gives an inaccurate clean bill of health.

    For a more detailed discussion, see the companion blog post, Who makes the best Windows security software? Surprise ...

  • When you click a download link using Chrome, you might see a generic warning like the one in the lower left corner of this page. The warning doesn’t include any information beyond the file name that can help you make an informed trust decision about whether the file is safe or dangerous.

    For a more detailed discussion, see the companion blog post, Who makes the best Windows security software? Surprise ...

  • Microsoft’s free program is an excellent example of how traditional antivirus software works. It relies on frequently updated definition files and then scans downloads to see if they match.

    You can have a delay of several hours or even days before the signature files catch up with new strains of malware.

    For a more detailed discussion, see the companion blog post, Who makes the best Windows security software? Surprise ...

Topics: Security, Browser, Software

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  • How ZD Net chases off readers.

    I don't do 25 image galleries.

    Each page with a reload, recenter, click NEXT, AND then repeat 25 times.
    MichaelCarr
    • agreed. multiple images per page would be improvement

      I find it irritating. Especially the fact it takes so long to load. Facebook has the right idea with the overlay system they use, that prevents the entire page from re-loading every time you want to switch to the next/previous image.
      shryko
      • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

        @shryko or just put the whole images part in a div and use ajax to refresh it when you switch pictures, very simple to do
        jmckay417
      • How ZD Net chases off readers

        @shryko <br><br>same here. This is horrible. Why can't they load it onto the same page ?<br><br>Although I like to se al the images, I don't want to stare at the screen until it flickers and re-adjests with the new image. This suxx.
        Madushan Siriwardena
    • How ZD Net chases off readers

      @MichaelCarr
      Totally agree. I hate the ZDNet photo galleries
      John238
      • How ZD Net chases off readers

        @John238

        Me too. Awful for a 20 year old company. :D
        Madushan Siriwardena
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    1. Install NoScript
    2. Don't Download A file in a format that the computer can directly execute.
    3. And because of 2. Don't waste time with Anti-Virus Software

    Its pretty simple
    Bodazapha
    • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

      @Bodazapha <br>Really? Never download any kind of program file? What a boring life. No new games, programs, apps, applets, shows, vids, etc. etc. etc. etc.<br><br>Viruses are no longer the top threat because virtually any anti-virus program detects & defeats almost all viruses within hours (if not minutes) of the viruses entering the wild. Many users have finally gotten the message about Phishing, and so successful email based social engineered attacks are on the decline. 'On-Demand' trojans (once which users download themselves) are the malware of choice nowadays because many users are still duped into downloading root kits which they think is something else -- and those same people apparently don't use modern AV & malware blockers which mostly do block trojans/rootkits. <br><br>I rarely venture into the 'seemier side' of the internet, but I've clicked a few links in my time that my AV/AM software blocked. Still no infections here. Would most of the 'social engineering' trojans work on me? No ... and not particularly because of my AV/AM software, but simply because I'm not slow enough to think it's a good idea to download the latest FireFox or Google Chrome from an unknown 3rd party.<br><br>And regarding your Step 3 ... you can download a non-executable file (e.g., a compressed file or archive) with a virus or rootkit inside. Without AV/AM software, you will never know what hit you. Your advice is not realistic.
      Gravyboat McGee
      • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

        @Tivolier You completely missed the part Step 1 - NoScript - no malware.<br><br>And with your compressed file scenerio, I could download any bloody (insert fear of the week term here rootkit/virus>) compressed in a zip/rar and even view the zip/rar contents - heck even extract the zip/rar and as long as I dont click on the that little file THAT DIRECTLY EXECUTES - its pretty much Step 2.<br><br>and again Pretty simple
        Bodazapha
    • NoScript

      @Bodazapha
      Hey man I completely on the Firefox and NoScript!! Since I changed over from IE several months ago I have experianced no problems, no spam, no anything! I thought everybody got the memo about .exe files 15 years ago.
      Thanks and have a great weekend.
      CM
      CMor64
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    Base your security in the MS browser and MS security programs and make bad boys be happy.
    Use a true secure OS if you want security, not a patch over a patch.
    ramon.sole@...
    • RE: Use a true secure OS if you want security, not a patch over a patch.

      @ramon.sole@...

      "Ouch!"

      But, so true.
      fatman65535
    • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

      @ramon.sole@... The only secure OS isn't connected to the net, in fact it has no input ports whatsoever lol! The bad guys just haven't got around to your OS yet, that's all.
      Shadeburst
      • safe for a while

        @Shadeburst Well, at least those of us not using windows will have some time before the bad guys get here. Beats being in the cross-hairs already.
        normcf
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    well what is the best software, and how do I down load it?
    willyr99@...
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    "Trust Decisions" are ineffective. By the time the user gets to the point, they've already decided to trust the download. Plus, we have become numb to that popup to ask us what we want to do with the file, and blindly click "Run".
    William_P
    • RE: ... we have become numb to that popup ....

      @William_P

      Hence why the derisive term <b>"Click Monkey"</b> came into use.
      fatman65535
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    The solution is quite simple to 99% of this stuff, Read The Screen. for all the expamples you list have suspect domains for example "oeachot.info/adobe-flash/". last I checked adobe flash is an Adobe product therefore it should be downloaded from Adobe, adobe.com is the domain. Like iI have told all my clients since the first pc's all the information you need is on the screen all that is needed is to Read It. Some sort of personal responsibility is required with computer ownership.
    rayb@...
  • RE: How browsers and security software can keep you safer online

    You can still bypass the download in a link in the Ie8 smartscreen filter block.
    rockachu2
  • You convinced me

    My browser is FF 4 which is a stinker anyway but I was too lazy to change it. Now you've convinced me. As I'm on a Windows platform I might as well use IE.
    Shadeburst