Let's Play in the Sandbox
I learned about a new application that I thought was pretty cool and wanted to pass it along.
Have you ever had a virus invade your PC or laptop (who hasn't, multiple times?) Or discover spyware or malware? Sandboxie is designed to cure you and your laptop of these problems.
I discovered Sandboxie when my laptop got sick while traveling back East and had to take the patient in to visit the Computer Doctors. Once they were able to rid my laptop of the viruses, buried deeply inside and rather resistant to being expelled, Sandboxie was installed.
Sandboxie creates a virtual environment for your Internet browsers (IE, Firefox, and Chrome) where all the files you intentionally download, and those you don't (like viruses, malware/spyware, and website cookies), reside. [photo courtesy of Stacey Heneveld on Flickr]
You are given the opportunity to move those files you want outside the Sandbox to the real environment anywhere you want (e.g., My Documents or other directories and sub-directories) at the time you download the file, and again when you close out your browser.
When you log-off the files in the Sandbox (i.e., your virtual environment), including the nasty viruses you don't know about, will disappear, providing increased protection from your Internet surfing.
Keep in mind that it is still possible to get infected if you save a file in the real world that itself is infected and is not caught by your virus protection software.
Sandboxie is normally set up to run automatically, but you can disable it before you play outside the sandbox if you wish to, say, set up or save cookies from a trusted website.
There is no perfect solution to prevent all viruses. And since they continue to evolve rapidly antivirus software programs must frequently update so they can recognize the new viruses and catch them red-handed before they affect you.
But Sandboxie seems to be a pretty good option to include in the virus prevention arsenal.