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I think that as a windows user, I have no where to run and no where to hide. In the windows world no matter how many precautions I take, I can get infected by -

1 - Drive by on legal and popular websites due to malicious scripts and browser bugs. 2 - Lame malware protected by crypting, packing etc. 3 - Malicious advertisements

(Feel free to add anything else to this list)

What did I do to protect myself -

1 - Paid antivirus 2 - NoScript in Firefox (and regularly updated chrome) 3 - Sandboxie (Ok, I did not use it all the time) 4 - Almost regular update of AV, Software (browser, pdf reader, java etc) , Windows

Do I need to keep everything inside a VM to feel a little more safe? What should I do to be way more secure, maybe 99.99% ?

To be safe, I used to do all my web surfing in my linux distro which is installed in dual boot. But, its inconvenient when you want to use windows software at the same time.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

A workable method is to use a virtual machine. Run a VM with a Linux in it, and do your browsing from that VM. VirtualBox "seamless windows" may help making the integration with your Windows system easier.

Of course:

  • This may protect your Windows system from whatever occurs in the Linux side of things, but remember that at least part of your sensitive data is in the browser itself -- e.g. authentication cookies for various sites.

  • If you, as a user, want to download a Windows application from a site, and then run it on your Windows machine, and the application turns out to be hostile, then no amount of Linux or VM will save you. Just don't do that.

    (This is an indirect advantage of the Linux ecosystem: on Linux, virtually every application you will run on your machine comes as an "official" package, with secured distribution. On Windows, you install software from many sources, and you have to verify yourself whether the source is trustworthy or not -- which is a lot of work and nigh impossible for the non-technically inclined end user.)

Most of security comes from not doing anything insecure, especially what advertisements ask you to do in a very insistant way. If you cannot resist ads, then don't browse the Web.

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I've been playing with VirtualBox + BrowserAppliance for a while, seems perfect for a throwaway browser (with only the odd audio glitch in Flash/youtube, though it could just as easily be my configuration). It's listed on the vmware Solution Exchange solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/browser-appliance –  mr.spuratic Mar 4 '13 at 21:27
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I would also investigate running all your untrusted programs inside sandboxie

Secure Web Browsing: Running your Web browser under the protection of Sandboxie means that all malicious software downloaded by the browser is trapped in the sandbox and can be discarded trivially.

Enhanced Privacy: Browsing history, cookies, and cached temporary files collected while Web browsing stay in the sandbox and don't leak into Windows.

Secure E-mail: Viruses and other malicious software that might be hiding in your email can't break out of the sandbox and can't infect your real system.

Windows Stays Lean: Prevent wear-and-tear in Windows by installing software into an isolated sandbox.

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