Last Updated Dec 7, 2010 11:46 AM EST
Most security software is reactive, springing into action only after a threat has infiltrated your PC. And even the best tools aren't 100-percent foolproof, especially against unknown threats.
The only truly safe way to work online is to work inside a virtual environment, a kind of protected bubble (or "sandbox") that operates on your PC but isn't directly linked to it. That's Trustware's BufferZone in a nutshell, and from now until January 1, 2011, you can get BufferZone Pro absolutely free. (The product page doesn't mention the freebie, but when you go to download it, you'll see the offer.) Regular price: $39.95.
BufferZone's virtual environment isolates security threats and prevents them from ever touching your PC. With it you can safely download, install, and run any application without worrying about Trojan horses, worms, keyloggers, spyware, Adware, phishing attempts, or other computer-clogging malware.
The Pro version includes support for USB devices (flash drives, etc.), P2P file sharing, all instant-messaging programs, and personal files (which get stored in a confidential folder). Unlike many security tools, BufferZone Pro isn't subscription-based, meaning you won't get hit with a $39.95 bill a year from now. It's free, period.
The software is available in 32-bit editions for Windows XP, Vista, and 7. If you've had malware problems in the past or you're just concerned about the effectiveness of your security software, I can't recommend this limited-time freebie highly enough.
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