BitDefender Antivirus 2009

BitDefender Antivirus 2009

BitDefender Antivirus 2009

17. Privacy Control

BitDefender monitors dozens of potential “hotspots” in your system where spyware might act, and also checks any changes made to your system and software. It is effective in blocking Trojan horses and other tools installed by hackers, who try to compromise your privacy and send your personal information, like credit card numbers, from your computer to the hacker.

17.1. Privacy Control Status

To configure the Privacy Control and to view information regarding its activity, go to

Privacy Control>Status in the Advanced View.

Privacy Control Status

You can see whether Privacy Control is enabled or disabled. If you want to change the Privacy Control status, clear or select the corresponding check box.

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Important

To prevent data theft and protect your privacy keep the Privacy Control enabled.

The Privacy Control protects your computer using these important protection controls:

Identity Control

- protects your confidential data by filtering all outgoing web (HTTP), e-mail (SMTP) and instant messaging traffic according to the rules you create in the

Identity

section.

Registry Control

- asks for your permission whenever a program tries to modify a registry entry in order to be executed at Windows start-up.

Cookie Control

- asks for your permission whenever a new website tries to set a cookie.

Script Control

- asks for your permission whenever a website tries to activate a script or other active content.

At the bottom of the section you can see the Privacy Control statistics.

17.1.1. Configuring Protection Level

You can choose the protection level that better fits your security needs. Drag the slider along the scale to set the appropriate protection level.

There are 3 protection levels:

Protection level

Permissive

Default

Aggressive

Description

Only Registry control is enabled.

Registry control and Identity Control are enabled.

Registry control, Identity Control and Script Control are enabled.

You can customize the protection level by clicking Custom level. In the window that will appear, select the protection controls you want to enable and click OK.

Click Default Level to position the slider at the default level.

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17.2. Identity Control

Keeping confidential data safe is an important issue that bothers us all. Data theft has kept pace with the development of Internet communications and it makes use of new methods of fooling people into giving away private information.

Whether it is your e-mail or your credit card number, when they fall into the wrong hands such information may cause you damage: you may find yourself drowning in spam messages or you might be surprised to access an emptied account.

Identity Control protects you against the theft of sensitive data when you are online.

Based on the rules you create, Identity Control scans the web, e-mail and instant messaging traffic leaving your computer for specific character strings (for example, your credit card number). If there is a match, the respective web page, e-mail or instant message is blocked.

You can create rules to protect any piece of information you might consider personal or confidential, from your phone number or e-mail address to your bank account information. Multiuser support is provided so that users logging on to different Windows user accounts can configure and use their own identity protection rules. The rules you create are applied and can be accessed only when you are logged on to your Windows user account.

Why you use Identity Control?

■ Identity Control is very effective in blocking keylogger spyware. This type of malicious applications records your keystrokes and sends them over the Internet to a malicious person (hacker). The hacker can find out sensitive information from the stolen data, such as bank account numbers and passwords, and use it to gain personal benefits.

Supposing such an application manages to avoid antivirus detection, it cannot send the stolen data by e-mail, web or instant messages if you have created appropriate identity protection rules.

■ Identity Control can protect you from

phishing

attempts (attempts to steal personal information). The most common phishing attempts make use of a deceiving e-mail to trick you into submitting personal information on a fake web page.

For example, you may receive an e-mail claiming to be from your bank and requesting you to urgently update your bank account information. The e-mail provides you with a link to the web page where you must provide your personal information.

Although they seem to be legitimate, the e-mail and the web page the misleading link directs you to are fake. If you click the link in the e-mail and submit your personal

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information on the fake web page, you will disclose this information to the malicious persons who organized the phishing attempt.

If appropriate identity protection rules are in place, you cannot submit personal information (such as your credit card number) on a web page unless you have explicitly defined an exception for the respective web page.

To configure Identity Control, go to Privacy Control>Identity in the Advanced View.

Identity Control

If you want to use Identity Control, follow these steps:

1. Select the Identity Control check box.

2. Create rules to protect your sensitive data. For more information, please refer to

Creating Identity Rules” (p. 148) .

3. If needed, define specific exceptions to the rules you have created. For more information, please refer to

Defining Exceptions” (p. 151) .

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17.2.1. Creating Identity Rules

To create an identity protection rule, click the Add button and follow the configuration wizard.

Step 1/4 - Welcome Window

Welcome Window

Click Next.

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Step 2/4 - Set Rule Type and Data

Set Rule Type and Data

You must set the following parameters:

Rule Name - type the name of the rule in this edit field.

Rule Type - choose the rule type (address, name, credit card, PIN, SSN etc).

Rule Data - type the data you want to protect in this edit field. For example, if you want to protect your credit card number, type all or part of it here.

Note

If you enter less than three characters, you will be prompted to validate the data. We recommend you to enter at least three characters in order to avoid the mistaken blocking of messages and web pages.

All of the data you enter is encrypted. For extra safety, do not enter all of the data you wish to protect.

Click Next.

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Step 3/4 - Select Traffic

Select Traffic

Select the type of traffic you want BitDefender to scan. The following options are available:

Scan HTTP - scans the HTTP (web) traffic and blocks the outgoing data that matches the rule data.

Scan SMTP - scans the SMTP (mail) traffic and blocks the outgoing e-mail messages that contain the rule data.

Scan Instant Messaging - scans the Instant Messaging traffic and blocks the outgoing chat messages that contain the rule data.

You can choose to apply the rule only if the rule data matches whole words or if the rule data and the detected string case match.

Click Next.

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Step 4/4 - Describe Rule

Describe Rule

Enter a short description of the rule in the edit field. Since the blocked data (character string) is not displayed in plain text when accessing the rule, the description should help you easily identify it.

Click Finish. The rule will appear in the table.

17.2.2. Defining Exceptions

There are cases when you need to define exceptions to specific identity rules. Let's consider the case when you create a rule that prevents your credit card number from being sent over HTTP (web). Whenever your credit card number is submitted on a website from your user account, the respective page is blocked. If you want, for example, to buy footwear from an online shop (which you know to be secure), you will have to specify an exception to the respective rule.

To open the window where you can manage exceptions, click Exceptions.

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Exceptions

To add an exception, follow these steps:

1. Click Add to add a new entry in the table.

2. Double-click Specify allowed address and provide the web site, the e-mail address or the IM contact that you want to add as exception.

3. Double-click Choose type and choose from the menu the option corresponding to the type of address previously provided.

■ If you have specified a web address, select HTTP.

■ If you have specified an e-mail address, select SMTP.

■ If you have specified an IM contact, select IM.

To remove an exception from the list, select it and click Remove.

Click OK to save the changes.

17.2.3. Managing Rules

You can see the rules created so far listed in the table.

To delete a rule, select it and click the Delete button.

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To edit a rule select it and click the Edit button or double-click it. A new window will appear.

Here you can change the name, description and parameters of the rule (type, data and traffic). Click OK to save the changes.

Edit Rule

17.3. Registry Control

A very important part of the Windows operating system is called the Registry. This is where Windows keeps its settings, installed programs, user information and so on.

The Registry is also used to define which programs should be launched automatically when Windows is started. Viruses often use this in order to be automatically launched when the user restarts his computer.

Registry Control keeps an eye on the Windows Registry - this is again useful for detecting Trojan horses. It will alert you whenever a program will try to modify a registry entry in order to be executed at Windows start-up.

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You can see the program that is trying to modify Windows

Registry.

If you do not recognize the program and if it seems suspicious, click Block to prevent it from modifying

Windows Registry. Otherwise, click Allow to permit the modification.

Based on your answer, a rule is created and listed in the rules table. The same action is applied whenever this program tries to modify a registry entry.

Registry Alert

Note

BitDefender will usually alert you when you install new programs that need to run after the next startup of your computer. In most cases, these programs are legitimate and can be trusted

To configure Registry Control, go to Privacy Control>Registry in the Advanced View.

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Registry Control

You can see the rules created so far listed in the table.

To delete a rule, select it and click the Delete button.

17.4. Cookie Control

Cookies

are a very common occurrence on the Internet. They are small files stored on your computer. Websites create these cookies in order to keep track of specific information about you.

Cookies are generally made to make your life easier. For example they can help the website remember your name and preferences, so that you don't have to enter them on every visit.

But cookies can also be used to compromise your privacy, by tracking your surfing patterns.

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This is where Cookie Control helps. When enabled, Cookie Control will ask for your permission whenever a new website tries to set a cookie:

You can see the name of the application that is trying to send the cookie file.

Check Remember this answer option and click Yes or

No and a rule will be created, applied and listed in the rules table. You will no longer be notified the next time when you connect to the same site.

Cookie Alert

This will help you to choose which websites you trust and which you don't.

Note

Because of the great number of cookies used on the Internet today, Cookie Control can be quite bothersome to begin with. At first, it will ask a lot of questions about sites trying to place cookies on your computer. As soon as you add your regular sites to the rule-list, surfing will become as easy as before.

To configure Cookie Control, go to Privacy Control>Cookie in the Advanced View.

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Cookie Control

You can see the rules created so far listed in the table.

Important

The rules are listed in order of their priority starting from the top, meaning the first rule has the highest priority. Drag&drop rules in order to change their priority.

To delete a rule, select it and click the Delete button. To modify the rule parameters, double-click the rule and make the desired changes in the configuration window.

To manually add a rule, click the Add button and configure the rule parameters in the configuration window.

17.4.1. Configuration Window

When you edit or manually add a rule, the configuration window will appear.

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Select Address, Action and Direction

You can set the parameters:

Domain address - type in the domain on which the rule should apply.

Action - select the action of the rule.

Action

Permit

Deny

Description

The cookies on that domain will execute.

The cookies on that domain will not execute.

Direction - select the traffic direction.

Type

Outgoing

Incoming

Both

Description

The rule applies only for the cookies that are sent out back to the connected site.

The rule applies only for the cookies that are received from the connected site.

The rule applies in both directions.

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Note

You can accept cookies but never return them by setting the action to Deny and the direction to Outgoing.

Click Finish.

17.5. Script Control

Scripts

and other codes such as

ActiveX controls

and

Java applets

, which are used to create interactive web pages, can be programmed to have harmful effects. ActiveX elements, for example, can gain total access to your data and they can read data from your computer, delete information, capture passwords and intercept messages while you're online. You should only accept active content from sites you fully know and trust.

BitDefender lets you choose to run these elements or to block their execution.

With Script Control you will be in charge of which websites you trust and which you don't. BitDefender will ask you for permission whenever a website tries to activate a script or other active content:

You can see the name of the resource.

Check Remember this answer option and click Yes or

No and a rule will be created, applied and listed in the rules table. You will no longer be notified when the same site tries to send you active content.

Script Alert

To configure Script Control, go to Privacy Control>Script in the Advanced View.

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Script Control

You can see the rules created so far listed in the table.

Important

The rules are listed in order of their priority starting from the top, meaning the first rule has the highest priority. Drag&drop rules in order to change their priority.

To delete a rule, select it and click the Delete button. To modify the rule parameters, double-click the rule and make the desired changes in the configuration window.

To manually create a rule, click the Add button and configure the rule parameters in the configuration window.

17.5.1. Configuration Window

When you edit or manually add a rule, the configuration window will appear.

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Select Address and Action

You can set the parameters:

Domain address - type in the domain on which the rule should apply.

Action - select the action of the rule.

Action

Permit

Deny

Description

The scripts on that domain will execute.

The scripts on that domain will not execute.

Click Finish.

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