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Sandboxie: Secure Computing via Program Isolation

LuculentOct 16, 2016, 1:31:28 AM

As a precurser to this post, in my opinion, with the following 4 technologies in place, the typical internet end-user should be well proteced from surveilance and malware-type afflictions: 1) A well configured browser; 2) VPN; 3) Encrypted email; and finally 4) Sandboxie. Using these 4 technologies will eliminate a major portion of most threats.

In this part of my safer computing series, I want to talk about executing programs in an isolated area of the hard drive. It’s been nigh on a decade now that I discovered the precious gem called Sandboxie. One of the greatest features Sandboxie offers is preventing malicious code, by any program running in the sandbox, from effecting any data on your PC when its executed.

Nobody is perfect, and sooner or later many folks are bound to suffer from some sort of malicious code. Let it be by a through email, browser born, or by some direct download on your part, the data on your PC can be compromised. This is where Sandboxie really shines by using isolation technology to separate programs from the operating system and preventing unwanted changes from happening to your personal data, programs and applications that reside on the hard drive.

Browse without the threat of viruses, ransom-ware and zero day threats, and use email without the worries of suspicious attachments or spear phishing attacks. Sandboxie restricts and blocks internet websites and programs from accessing personal data, files & folders on your PC.

Below is a live example video showing how Sandboxie prevents damage from a cryptolocker ransomware attack, even though the program was executed on the PC.

There is both a free and paid version of Sandboxie. Even though the lifetime subscription of $35 is quite fair for the protection Sandboxie offers, the free version will be more than adequate for the average user (I personally use the free version). Advantages of the paid over the free versions are:

  • Removes the nag screen that initially appears after you have used Sandboxie for more than 30 days
  • Enables the Forced Programs and Forced Folders features (however in the free version you can create Sandboxie shortcuts to any application)
  • Allows you to run programs in more than one sandbox at the same time
  • No guaranteed level of technical support

Like I said, I’ve used this program on some of my PC’s for about a decade now, and none of them have ever suffered from malicious attacks. This is really a great option for many every-day users using the internet whom could easily make the common mistake of acquiring malicious codes on their PCs. If you are interested in installing Sandboxie, it can be downloaded here.