- BHO (Browser Help object)
This is all great news. But there's one common demoninator here. In all cases your "Protection" is really a "remedy". Much like a Flu shot, you've given your PCs Immune system a boost, but all these tools are designed to clean your PC after the evil buggers have arrived on your PC.
What if there was a way to prevent the crap from even hitting your computer in the first place? It may sound like Eutopia, but there is a very simple way you can limit your PCs exposure to these parasites on the internet.
Enter the HOSTS File.
The hosts file is a text file on every Windows® computer. This file has a mapping of host names to IP addresses. This overrides the DNS Server you normally use when connected to the Internet. Essentially Hosts Files are used if you want to connect to another computer with a name rather than a number. For example, you may have a home network and the other pc could be at 192.168.1.2 but you want to connect to it using the name "KidsPC" you can put this in the HOSTS file of your computer and then you can reference the Kids PC by the Name "KidsPC" rather than the number. Infact some viruses in the past have modified this file to prevent users from browsing to antivirus websites.
Okay. Now that you know what the HOSTS file is. What can you do to protect yourself? So. If you had a list of all the websites out there that propigate parasites you could override the ability for your PC to access these websites by adding fake IP addresses for each Hostname.
There's one very important IP address to know. Luckly it's also very easy to remember. 127.0.0.1 This IP address is "Home" or the local computer. Infact your computer will have 1 entry in the HOSTS file. this entry is:
- 127.0.0.1 localhost
So How Do I Know What Sites to Put in the HOSTS File?
Here's the easy part. Somebody's done this for you. All you need to do is download the hosts file from MVPs.org Website. Then either replace your hosts file with the one from MVPs.org or if you've tweaked your hosts file, add the mappings from their hosts file to yours.