Tag Archives: chatting

BufferZone Pro 64 Bit Beta Released

Following the review of BufferZone Pro here earlier this year, a fair number of readers were disappointed to see that a 64 bit version of this free virtualization application from Trustware, was not yet available.

Well here’s some good news – those readers who have been waiting for a 64 bit version of  BufferZone Pro need wait no longer. Trustwareis opening the registration for the BufferZone Pro 4 beta version, which includes support for 64-bit Windows installations, on March 28,2011 (9:00 am PST).

To register for the beta program, or for more information, go here.

From “Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price”, posted here February 22, 2011 –

Controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment rather than operating in a “real” environment, makes sense given the escalating level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

From the developer’s site:

BufferZone Pro keeps you surfing, downloading, e-banking, sharing, chatting, and e-mailing to your heart’s content – basically, using the Internet as it should be used. The Virtual Zone gives you total freedom, peace and security on the Web. With BufferZone Pro, you can do absolutely anything on the Internet threat free.

With BufferZone, all programs or files that enter your computer through downloading, browsing, or uploading with external media devices, are redirected to a Virtual Zone (C:\Virtual). And, since any intrusion attempt occurs within this virtual environment, there’s nothing in that summary that I can disagree with. BufferZone’s Virtual Zone does protect a PC from all forms of known, or unknown, attacks originating from the Internet, or external devices.

It does so in a non intrusive way, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user. Installation is hassle free – it’s just a matter of  following the on-screen instructions.

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BufferZone sits in the Taskbar and can be fully controlled from there.

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System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32-bit). 64 bit users now have access to BufferZone 4 Beta available here.

Note: 32 bit users can download stable version 3 here.

As with all beta, or release candidates, take sensible precautions prior to installation. This should include setting a new restore point.

Update: April 25, 2011 – Regular reader Charlie  reports the following:

“When I uninstall it or surf outside of it, I lose all my firefox bookmarks.  Installing returns the bookmarks.  Also, won’t let me keep Chrome bookmarks.I checked the support form, and others had the same problems.  No answers were provided, however.

If you have experienced these conditions, and you have developed a solution – please let us know.

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8 Comments

Filed under 64 Bit Software, Anti-Malware Tools, Beta Software, Cyber Crime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Anti-malware Software, Freeware, Malware Protection, Online Safety, Software, Spyware - Adware Protection, System Security, Virtualization, Windows Tips and Tools

Free BufferZone Pro – Maybe The Best Surfing Virtualization Application At Any Price

Back in December, regular reader John W, pointed me to a free license giveaway for BufferZone, a virtualization application which creates an isolated environment called the Virtual Zone, while you surf the Internet.

Based on John’s recommendation, I wrote an informational only article, since I had not had an opportunity to test the application. I’ve spent some time in the interim testing this application, and there’s just one word to describe it – brilliant, exceptional, splendid, superb.

OK, that’s more than one word – but I’m more than just a little enthusiastic about this program. Best of all, this application is now free – as in FREE.

This is not 1985 when the only thing you had to worry about was the crud that might be on the floppy disks you exchanged with your friends. Today, your Browser is the conduit into your computer – that’s the route by which the majority of malware spreads, and intrusion attempts take place.

A case in point:

While surfing the Net, a user mistakenly accepts an invitation to install a scareware application but realizes, after the fact, that this is a scam. Operating in a “real” environment, the damage, unfortunately, would already have been done.

Operating in a “virtual” environment with BufferZone active, system changes attempted by this parasite would simply not occur.

So, controlling malware intrusion, while surfing the Net, through the use of a ‘”virtual” environment rather than operating in a “real” environment, makes sense given the escalating level of cyber criminal activity on the Internet.

From the developer’s site:

BufferZone Pro keeps you surfing, downloading, e-banking, sharing, chatting, and e-mailing to your heart’s content – basically, using the Internet as it should be used. The Virtual Zone gives you total freedom, peace and security on the Web. With BufferZone Pro, you can do absolutely anything on the Internet threat free.

With BufferZone, all programs or files that enter your computer through downloading, browsing, or uploading with external media devices, are redirected to a Virtual Zone (C:\Virtual). And, since any intrusion attempt occurs within this virtual environment, there’s nothing in that summary that I can disagree with. BufferZone’s Virtual Zone does protect a PC from all forms of known, or unknown, attacks originating from the Internet, or external devices.

It does so in a non intrusive way, and after initial setup, requires a minimum of user intervention – perfect for the average user. Installation is hassle free – it’s just a matter of  following the on-screen instructions.

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BufferZone sits in the Taskbar and can be fully controlled from there.

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Once the application is installed, and after a re-boot, you will be taken to the developer’s site (this is a one time occurrence), for a point by point introduction to Buffer Zone. The following screen captures (taken from the developer’s site), provide a clear explanation.

Clicking on any screen shot will expand it to the original.

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In the last few months we’ve looked at operating system virtualization – Shadow Defender, Returnil Virtual System, Wondershare Time Freeze, and a number of other similar applications. As well as alternatives to OS virtualization – specific application virtualization running in a sandbox. For straight out ease of use while surfing the Internet though, BufferZone has become my favorite.

If you’re unsure as to whether you should operate in “virtual mode” while surfing the Net, then take this free security test at the developer’s site.

On my “unprotected” test machine, the following is the result of the simulated Trojan attack. The “stolen” files were on a non-system partition so the Trojan doesn’t restrict itself to just the (C:) drive.

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Actually, I forgot to turn off ThreatFire, which picked up the attack in progress. This shows the benefit of a layered security approach.

System Requirements: Windows XP, Vista, Win 7 (32-bit).

Download at: the developer’s site (Trustware.com).

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37 Comments

Filed under Anti-Malware Tools, cybercrime, Don't Get Hacked, downloads, Free Security Programs, Freeware, Interconnectivity, Internet Safety Tools, Online Banking, Online Safety, Safe Surfing, Software, System File Protection, System Security, Windows 7, Windows Tips and Tools, Windows Vista, Windows XP

A Non Techie’s View Of Computer Security – Is He Right?

typical-user-2.jpgI’m often critical, on this Blog, of the typical computer user’s laissez-faire attitude toward computer security on the Internet.

I’ve never been shy in making the point that  it seems to me, no one wants to take responsibly for the abysmal state of Internet safety and security. Not governments; not software developers; and least of all Internet users’.

But, there’s a problem with this type of straight line thinking. Like many who have a high level of knowledge in various aspects of technology, including computer security, I occasionally forget that issues surrounding technology are rarely as simple as they sometimes appear to be.

Several years ago, shortly after I wrote an article  “Facebook – A Scam/Spam/Phishing Factory?”, Wendell Dryden, a fellow Blogger from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, commented on the Facebook article.

See what you think.

My perception is that most people still see the computer as a kind of entertainment device, with an attached cell-phone like feature. Computers are for playing, chatting, watching short clips, listening to tunes….

If people don’t take internet security (or pc maintenance) seriously, it’s because they don’t think of the computer as a serious device.

Some of this is related to our cultural laziness around safety and prevention. People are routinely reckless with automobiles, decline to clean out the lint catch, and mishandle loaded guns.

But, mostly, I think computers are thought of like television or boom boxes… fun while they work.

My frustration is with government, health and educational institutions that push people to use the internet as though it were as secure and straight forward as a hard-line telephone.

I also think an extra burden of responsibility should be placed on any company or organization that promotes, and then facilitates, monetary transactions.

In short, an outfit like Facebook has no business asking – or even allowing a place for – things like street addresses, date of birth or credit card numbers on its hyper-connective site. If people choose to post those things on their wall… well, that’s a different matter. But otherwise, there ought to be a legal responsibility to not ask for certain kinds of private information.

Idealistic, or what!

I tend to think that Wendell has a good grasp of some of the real issues surrounding the lack of concern for computer security that a typical user exhibits.

What’s your view?

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13 Comments

Filed under cybercrime, Interconnectivity, Point of View, Windows Tips and Tools

Why You’re Not a Savvy Computer User! – Another View

typical-user-2.jpgCoauthored by Wendell Dryden

I’m often critical, on this Blog, of the typical computer user’s lessez faire attitude toward security, particularly on the Internet. 

For example, I recently wrote an article entitled “FaceBook – A Scam/Spam/Phishing Factory?”   which included  the following quote from an earlier article, “The Unsecured Internet Super Highway – Are You Licensed to Drive? – Get Up to Speed Here!

“Being involved in computer security, I am amazed at the lack of knowledge exhibited by typical computer users, and most importantly, the lack of knowledge concerning the need to secure their machines against the ever increasing risks, previously noted, on the Internet. I’m not talking about unintelligent people here. I am talking about people who are intelligent in every other aspect of life, but who view computers like cavemen who saw fire for the first time.” 

Wendell Dryden, http://wendell-communitylit.blogspot.com/ a fellow Blogger from Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, whose quality and style of writing I admire, commented on the FaceBook article and it certainly gave me food for thought. 

Those of us who have a high level of knowledge in various aspects of technology, including computer security, often forget that issues surrounding technology are rarely as simple as they sometimes appear to us. 

Wendell raised some challenges for me in my thinking patterns surrounding the typical computer user and security. 

See what you think.

My perception is that most people still see the computer as a kind of entertainment device, with an attached cell-phone like feature.  Computers are for playing, chatting, watching short clips, listening to tunes…. 

If people don’t take internet security (or pc maintenance) seriously, it’s because they don’t think of the computer as a serious device. 

Some of this is related to our cultural laziness around safety and prevention.  People are routinely reckless with automobiles, decline to clean out the lint catch, and mishandle loaded guns. 

But, mostly, I think computers are thought of like television or boom boxes… fun while they work. 

My frustration is with government, health and educational institutions that push people to use the internet as though it were as secure and straight forward as a hard-line telephone.  I also think an extra burden of responsibility should be placed on any company or organization that promotes, and then facilitates, monetary transactions. 

In short, an outfit like FaceBook has no business asking – or even allowing a place for – things like street addresses, date of birth or credit card numbers on its hyper-connective site.  If people choose to post those things on their wall… well, that’s a different matter.  But otherwise, there ought to be a legal responsibility to not ask for certain kinds of private information. 

Idealistic, or what! 

I tend to think that Wendell has a good grasp of some of the real issues surrounding the lack of concern for computer security that a typical user exhibits. 

What’s your view?

2 Comments

Filed under FaceBook, Internet Safety, Living Life, Online Safety, Personal Perspective, Privacy, Safe Surfing, Windows Tips and Tools