Does your anti-virus software provide any protection against unknown threats? Once upon a time an anti-virus package was only as good as the last time it was updated – any threats that had emerged since the last update was installed would slip by the radar to wreak havoc. As the number of viruses spiralled, updates went from weekly to daily to hourly to almost instantaneously, but there is still a risk that the latest, unrecognised threats can slip through the radar.
Some security packages – specifically paid-for packages like Norton Internet Security – have built-in technologies that attempt to spot unknown threats and block them based on their behaviour or lack of trustworthiness. But no security package is foolproof, which is why it’s important you add as many layers of protection as you can.
This is where ThreatFire comes in: this free security tool has no virus signatures because it acts purely on behaviour alone to block suspicious processes and provide you with a dialogue box that basically lets you decide if the process can be trusted to run on your computer. There’s no built-in virus scanner (although it can scan for and remove rootkit infections), so it’s no good on a machine that’s already infected. Instead, it’s designed to run alongside existing your existing anti-virus and anti-spyware tools to add an additional layer of protection. It’s actually included as part of PC Tools’ paid-for security products, including Spyware Doctor and PC Tools Internet Security.
It doesn’t have a major footprint, so won’t noticeably slow down your PC, and despite offering real-time protection can be safely installed alongside other security products, defying conventional wisdom that you should never install two or more anti-virus programs alongside each other.