In the constantly changing world of computer security, technologies for virus prevention emerge overnight, oftentimes leaving consumers in their wake. A recent technology that has gained recent popularity deserves a quick look. This technology is called, “sandboxing.”
Sandboxing is the ability for an antivirus program to run a potentially dangerous program in a virtual space, isolating it from the rest of the operating system and preventing any permanent damage as a result of running the software. Since it is difficult for consumers to validate the origins of everything they download and run, this can be a valuable asset to have if properly used and understood.
As of this writing, two antivirus products on the market offer free sandboxing; Avast! and Comodo. Both products have free and paid versions. Avast! is free for non-commercial use, but Comodo is free for either business or personal use. Both of these products are capable, up-to-date antivirus solutions that I’ve tested in real world scenarios.
As with any technology, sandboxing is only useful if end-users pay attention to the dialog boxes that pop up from their anti-virus program. Anything can be ignored, leaving users vulnerable. In the long-run, hopefully the feature will be implemented automatically in the background, allowing a level of user-friendliness that just isn’t possible with today’s programs.