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Let’s say that I have to go to a website, and I am 99% sure that it will attempt to put a virus on my computer somehow. What settings can I change in my browser, OS, etc. to make sure that I will be safe as possible from the site (assuming that I don’t do anything stupid such as installing software from there). I am using Internet Explorer.

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closed as not a real question by MaQleod, soandos, Diogo, 8088, Randolph West Sep 30 '12 at 18:58

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Use a Virtual Machine or sandbox the browser. –  MaQleod Sep 30 '12 at 3:50
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Take a look at sandboxing. Particularly see sandboxie.com –  Zoredache Sep 30 '12 at 4:38
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Boot from a linux live cd or usb. –  Moab Sep 30 '12 at 13:58
    
Hmm, Chrome didn’t even flinch when I tried to go there. I guess it must not have been added to the list yet. –  Synetech Sep 30 '12 at 16:47
    
@Synetech apparently its just a network provider in Isreal, I got an email from someone and apparently they were using a proxy from there. –  Oztaco Sep 30 '12 at 17:22

2 Answers 2

up vote 6 down vote accepted

Use a virtualization software (VMware, Virtualbox etc) and set up a dedicated guest system. Create a snapshot of the entire clean system before you start browsing, and restore this snapshot once you're done browsing.

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And don't use the host for any sort of internet use at all, limit it to updates only. Newer exploits are starting to look for VM images and insert their code in them, so if your host gets infected, all your images will be preinfected. Future Zero Day attacks won't be playing as nicely as the current batch. –  Fiasco Labs Sep 30 '12 at 20:13

IE supports creating a list of restricted sites.

The level of security set for Restricted sites is applied to sites that might potentially damage your computer or your information. Adding sites to the Restricted zone does not block them, but it prevents them from using scripting or any active content. The security level for Restricted sites is set to High and can't be changed.

To add a website to the Restricted zone:

  1. Pull down Tools and select Internet Options.
  2. Go to the Security tab, click Restricted sites and then the Sites button.
  3. Add the site of concern.

There's undoubtedly still some risk of an exploit in IE that Microsoft doesn't yet know so I would certainly want up-to-date AV software as well.

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If it is a 0day exploit the av software will not detect it. Best to use a different method as mentioned in the comments above. –  Moab Sep 30 '12 at 13:58
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What Moab states is true about zero-day attacks (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero-day_attack). But realistically, most exploits tend to require scripting or active content. If all you're allowed is basically just HTML and CSS, as a hacker, you haven't got a lot to work with. The odds you'll run into a zero-day attack that doesn't use scripting or active content on that one day has be near zero. So Microsoft's Restricted zone strategy combined with good AV software should be reasonably safe. –  Nicole Hamilton Sep 30 '12 at 16:35

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