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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  • The weakness of traditional antivirus software is that it’s always chasing the bad guys. In this example, Microsoft Security Essentials was able to identify a “Severe” threat and remove the dangerous file.

    Unfortunately. that ID didn’t happen when the file was first downloaded and saved. The initial scan failed to detect a threat. The dangerous file was detected and quarantined fours hours later, after I manually updated the definition file and scanned again.

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

  • Trend Micro Titanium Maximum Security does more than traditional antivirus software, including the ability to hook into the browser and block potentially dangerous sites. You can fine-tune settings for different types of users. Do you know someone who can’t seem to stay away from malware? Give them a standard user account and crank up the protection level to High.

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

  • This Trend Micro Titanium option tags search results with an icon that indicates whether each one is safe or dangerous. The green Safe icon, with its white check mark, means a link is OK to click. The gray question mark means the page is untested.

    This feature didn’t identify any known dangerous sites during my testing, but it did flag every deceptive ad I encountered in my many searches. The suspicious ads were flagged using the gray Untested icon.

    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