SUMMARY: For enhanced protection when browsing the web, surf in a web browser inside a virtual machine.
If your machine contains sensitive information and you are concerned about the risk of spyware and adware, one option is to surf the web in a virtual browser.
Through applications such as VMware, you can start a virtual operating system, usually a UNIX-based system, running inside your computer. Think of it as running another computer inside your computer.
If you execute a web browser, such as Mozilla Firefox or Opera, from this virtual operating system, even if the browser became infected, it is extremely unlikely that it could harm your computer as a whole. In a vast majority of cases, all the malware could do is infect your 'virtual' operating system and browser, so all you would need to do is erase it and put in a new, clean version.
Though some may consider this option a little extreme, especially if they already have a firewall, antivirus, and anti-spyware software, update their operating system and software regularly, and use a non-Internet Explorer browser, this option is available.
Setting up a virtual browser, however, is not a simple point-and-click process and may prove too complicated for beginners. For more information:
* Browser Appliance Getting Started Guide (vmware.com)
* "Surf The Web In Complete Safety" (spywareinfo.com)
Return to the Spyware and Adware page.
The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language.