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Antivirus isn't enough: here's how to stay protected online - fixedByVonnie

Antivirus isn’t enough: here’s how to stay protected online

Did you know that antivirus protection isn’t enough to protect your computer from malware?

Most antivirus solutions rely on comparing known threats against databases of existing malware signatures; this means that antivirus programs are reactive.

In other words, they don’t do a really good job protecting against attacks that exploit previously unknown software vulnerabilities known as zero-day threats.

It’s called a zero-day threat because the developers literally had zero-days to address the vulnerability.  Consequently, antivirus vendors also have zero-days to get ahead of the problem which makes this particular breed of exploitation especially odious.

Actually, according to American entrepreneur Mark Maunder, the phrase “Zero Day” finds its genesis in the software piracy scene.  Leakers would segment software into day range groups with the freshest, most desirable applications leading the list.

So for example,  you would find a zero day group and a 1-to-7-day group, a 8-to-14-day group and so on.  Software in the ‘Zero Day” group meant that zero days elapsed since the application went public.  In other words, the Leaker grabbed the application before everyone else by hacking into the software providers network or stealing it through some other means.

On a side note, I’m abashed to say that I was a huge exponent of software piracy before I started programming applications.  My paradigm shift occurred when I saw and experienced all the work involved in creating software and realized it’s wrong to steal it.

Fortunately, the good guys at MalwareBytes have released an anti-malware solution that has the intelligence to address these issues.

Today I want to introduce you to a free program every person should have running on their PC.  Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and is a perfect addition to any layered protection plan because in most cases you can run it concurrently with your existing antivirus solutions.

The app unobtrusively guards your internet presence by passively protecting all web browsers from malicious code, java exploits and illegal memory operations.  It shields your system by monitoring applications for anomalous behavior, deflecting suspicious memory access and shielding Windows from security bypasses.

MalwareBytes AntiExploit 3 layers of protection

Over the last five years, malware has become increasingly sophisticated and can now infect users with little to no interaction.

For example, you can get infected by simply visiting an infected website.

But, seriously how is this possible?

How infections work

Malware creators exploit software bugs.

These jerks devote hours and hours searching for browser bugs, weaknesses in Javascript interpreters and vulnerabilities in ubiquitous application such as Java, Flash and Silverlight.

When you type google.com into your browser, you’re trusting your web browser to take you to google.com. You’re trusting the browser not to format your hard drive, grant illicit access to local files and protect your personal information.

99.999999999999% of the time; your browser keeps you protected; however, I want you to realize that the browser isn’t required to do the right thing and sometimes is fooled into letting in the bad guys.

The problem is that people have an insatiable craving to do more online.  They want their browsers to execute commands based on instructions from the internet, they want their browsers to automate more tasks and make the web a more vibrant enjoyable medium for entertainment, news and productivity.

The rising demand for interactivity and responsiveness was the impetus behind Javascript and Flash.

On the one hand, these client side technologies have made the web more beautiful, responsive and accessible; however, there’s a dark side to convenience.

The browser itself is good.  Chrome, Firefox and IE <cough cough> are the good guys but since they have the ability to run untrusted, malicious code and execute it on our systems they can unwittingly abet the bad guys.

The only sure way to stay truly safe online is to disable Javascript (and render approximately 90% of the web useless) and disable all extensions.  This effectively closes the door to your local hard drive but it also makes the web an insipid mess of bland text that might remind you of HTML in the early 90’s.

MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit is great because it allows you experience the beauty of the web without putting your computer at risk.  And the application footprint is so small that you’ll barely notice it’s running.

Download the app, install it and you’ll be protected in minutes.

Malwarebytes Antimalware

Incidentally, you can see how Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit performed in a series of tests; however, I should mention that the tests aren’t objective since they were performed from a sponsor.  This doesn’t mean the information is spurious but it does mean that the data could be biased so it might not be the most balanced representation of how Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit really performs.

Have you tried out Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit yet?  Let me know in the comments below!


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