What is a Security Sandbox?

What is a security sandbox? Think about the type of sandbox that kids play in. It is small, safe environment where kids can play with just the toys in the sandbox, and they’re temporarily contained so that they can’t touch anything outside the sandbox (unless they leave the sandbox).

In computer security, there is […]

Virtual Machines Aren’t Perfect Sandboxes

A few months ago, I had a problem with one of my Virtual Machines (VMs), so I fired up Wireshark, and started capturing traffic. At first I thought I was seeing things. There was a bunch of traffic that was not originating on the VM; it was originating on the host OS. That seemed mighty […]

How to Implement Security Sandboxes

You may not know it, but ALL your programs can access your Quicken data. Not good. So, what can you do?

One solution to this nasty problem is to run all programs in a security sandbox. Unfortunately, the sandboxes in Windows 8 and Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) are voluntary. Programmers can choose to […]

All Your Programs Can Access Your Quicken Data

Note: The issue discussed on this page affects you if you use Windows or Mac OS X, unless you have taken the following precautions:

For Windows: You are running Windows 8 or later, and only purchase and run programs from the Windows App store. For Mac OS X: You are running Mountain Lion (10.8) or […]

Targeted Advertising

Ever been interested in a certain product, and done some Google research about it? Then, for days afterwards, whenever you go to a website, you see ads for that very same thing? What a coincidence! Well, actually, it is not a coincidence. It is called Targeted Advertising. Whenever you browse to a certain site, the […]

How to Make Your Browser More Secure

Indulge me in a little test. Create a text file on your PC. Copy and paste this into it:



<br>My secret plans to become the next billionaire.

<br>My secret recipe for killer scones to sell to Starbucks.

<br>My password to all my websites.


How to Download Software Safely

There is no such thing as free. “Free” software, music, video, and toolbar downloads are some of the the most common culprits for malware infection.

If you want to run software on your computer, you have to trust the software vendor not to do anything stupid, malicious, or sneaky on your computer. Most software […]

Security Concerns with Quicken

Suppose you run Quicken. You enter your checkbook balance, and some checks that haven’t cleared the bank. Then, you enter the password for your online account at the bank, and download your checking account history and/or your credit card history.

Now that you have synchronized your computer with your bank, Intuit (the makers of Quicken) […]

Security Sandboxes: A Great Reason to Upgrade

The main reason to upgrade is that the newer versions of Windows and Mac OS X implement something called a security sandbox.

Suppose you get hungry, and want a recipe for a sandwich. So, you download some recipe software, install it, download a recipe for a sandwich, and make yourself a sandwich. If you accidentally […]

Why Upgrading is a Security Strategy

One way to improve your computer security is to ditch your old computer and buy a new one with new software. Why? Because computer security is like the arms race. Hackers are working to discover new software vulnerabilities all the time. If they find a good one, they may exploit it, or sell it to […]