PCSTATS TechTip: Isolate a browser with Sandboxie to protect your PC from
If your day job includes checking out hundreds of websites for an advertising company, you're bound to visit more than a few dodgy sites and click on a fair number of suspect links. This kind of work can be as risky as riding a motorcycle without a helmet!
One way to help protect your PC from the malware and
mischievous scripts a web browser is exposed to, is to run the browser in what's
called a 'sandbox'. A sandbox is computer term for an isolated virtual container
in which untrusted programs can be run. One such application is called
Sandboxie 4.08 (www.sandboxie.com) allows you to "Run
programs in a sandbox to prevent rogue software and other malware from making
permanent changes to your PC, by not allowing them to write to the hard
The program is 32-bit and 64-bit compatible and works with any web browser, or program
for that matter. Download it here and install the program. It will automatically
sandbox whatever browser is set to your default, ie. FireFox,
Internet Explorer or Chrome.
To launch the Sandboxie version of the web browser, click
on the pizza slice icon. This will bring up a browser window denoted by [#] hash
tags [#] and a yellow line when you mouse over it. Within this browser you can do
everything you'd normally do, with all your bookmarks and extensions, etc.
The only difference is that all temporary files related
to this FireFox browser are stored in a isolated container. If you open up
Windows Explorer and navigate to C:/ you'll see the virtual folder identified
After you've done all your work, if you wish to delete
any traces of the suspect data the sandboxed version of Firefox was potentially
exposed to, it's quite easy. Go the right hand task bar, right-click on the
yellow sandbox icon and bring up the menu and select "Delete Contents". If the
Sandboxed program crashes or experiences some kind of malware, it's just as easy
to terminate the program in the virtual, isolated environment.
Now granted, Sandboxie will not protect your computer from every kind of
malware and virus out there, but it is incrementally better than exposing your
browser to these kinds of risks, even with antivirus software
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