Thursday, 20 October 2011

Don't Just Think of the Children

SafeSearchLock isn't just for keeping the kids safe - it can help prevent identity theft and costly visits to your local PC technician to 'clean' your PC. Some 'adult' search results link to unscrupulous web sites that are merely a means to infect visitor’s computers with viruses, trojans, spyware or other nasty surprises. They often rely on the fact that visitors won't tell anyone which sites they have been to in order to get them shut down or prosecuted. There are several ways these infections can transpire, including:
  • Social Engineering. This is where a site pretends that a potentially dangerous file (whether that is an executable, video, document or something else) is safe and legitimate and gets the visitor to click or download it. Even entire sites can pretend to be something they are not.
  • Vulnerabilities. Bugs in web browsers, plugins or other programs that open up content from the web can sometimes allow bad things to run on your computer. This includes files which you wouldn't normally associate with having executable content such as Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files, ActiveX applets and videos. Vulnerabilities in the past have allowed these nasty bits of code to live inside innocent looking files which then get run automatically by the web browser. This is another good reason to always keep your browsers, plugins and operating system up to date with updates and patches issued only by their creators.
  • Third Party Interference. Sometimes web sites get hacked and the contents get changed. If it is a subtle change to files made available to download it can be some time before anyone notices. It isn't always the sites themselves either which are the culprit, there have been several cases in the past where the companies who provide adult banner adverts have allowed nasty code to slip through with the adverts that get embedded into other peoples web sites.
The best way to prevent yourself being a victim of crooked adult web sites is to not visit them. SafeSearchLock can prevent them being found in search engines and therefore prevent them being visited - even accidentally by you or anyone using your computer.

The 7th to 11th November 2011 is the annual Get Safe Online week to raise awareness of internet safety issues. We are proud friends of the campaign so if you want to know more, please click the badge below.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

MSI (or MS Why?)

SafeSearchLock is now available as an MSI for our corporate customers.

You may have previously received software which arrived as an MSI file (i.e. a file with the extension '.msi'). This is a Windows Installer file, previous known as a MicroSoft Installer file, hence MSI. There are many features of an MSI but one important one is that they can be pushed out to computers on an Active Directory network. This can be done pretty much silently requiring no user interaction, making it an ideal installation method for schools, other educational establishments and corporate networks. Our custom built MSI allows us to set a default password of the customers choice and also automatically set the 'Start with Windows' flag.

We still recommend the normal interactive installer for single computer users and especially home users. It has the benefit of providing some extra information during the install and the user has more control. However, if you are a corporate user of SafeSearchLock and would prefer a custom MSI installer for it (at no additional cost), please just get in touch.