GreenBorder: We “Make IE Safe to Use”. Outlook, Too.

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GreenBorder is a new kind of protection for Internet Explorer (IE) and Outlook, and the folks over at GreenBorder claim that they “make IE safe to use. Really.” But what is GreenBorder? And what makes it different from all of the other anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-everything software which may not actually make IE or Outlook safe? For that matter, can anything really make IE safe?

GreenBorder does indeed have a novel concept. It’s not exactly a firewall. It’s more like an ante-room. They call it a “virtual environment”, and the way it works is like this: imagine that you are going out on a blind date. Now you don’t know anything about this person other than what you read in their online dating profile (hey, it’s Silicon Valley, isn’t that how everybody dates?), and so rather than inviting this stranger into your home, you meet them at Starbucks (hey, it’s Silicon Valley, isn’t that how everybody dates?) Once you get to know them, and see that they aren’t malicious, and are really who they say they are, you invite them back to your house.


That’s what GreenBorder does. GreenBorder’s “virtual environment” plays the Starbucks role to your PC’s home. When untrusted applications and content arrive at the edge of your networked PC, GreenBorder says “not so fast – not on a first date. I don’t know you well enough, so let’s put you through your paces in my virtual environment before I trust you to come into my home.”

Put another way, GreenBorder creates a virtual PC “sandbox”, and tests the untrusted content there, quarantined away from your actual PC operating system. Then you, the user, can either choose to accept the content, or to remove it. A pretty nifty concept.

There are some downsides, however. For example, if you don’t do anything with the content, GreenBorder removes it when you log off. That means that you can lose content which you actually want if you fail to accept it. And that applies to any content which GreenBorder flags as “untrusted” or otherwise unrecognized. So not only worms and viruses, but good things, like maybe program updates, photos, or other content which might look suspect to GreenBorder – which could be pretty much anything binary which doesn’t come from a whitelisted source.

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Still, the reality is that there is always going to be some baby in this sort of bathwater, and as a user you have to decide which is more onerous to you – checking for babies before you pull the bath plug, or drowning in bathwater.

No Paywall Here!
The Internet Patrol is and always has been free. We don't hide our articles behind a paywall, or restrict the number of articles you can read in a month if you don't give us money. That said, it does cost us money to run the site, so if something you read here was helpful or useful, won't you consider donating something to help keep the Internet Patrol free?
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Other Amount:
What info did you find here today?:

3 thoughts on “GreenBorder: We “Make IE Safe to Use”. Outlook, Too.

  1. Huh!? You “loose content if you fail to accept it”? As someone who has seen a pre-release of the GreenBorder product, I can tell you that’s quite a misleading statement.

    When you for example download a file onto your desktop using IE it stays there until you delete it – no “acceptance” step is required (it doesn’t get deleted when you log off). What DOES get flushed at log off, are the changes that malware tried to make to your environment.

  2. I agree with Zac.We have run a computer shop for 9Yrs. and have 25-30 yrs background with computers. It is frustrating and a bit heartbreaking to send out a speedy cleaned up unit with updated,OS,a/v and selected utilities only to have it back in 2-6mo…the same or worse then before. The internet has become a mine field for people who aren’t careful where they step.

  3. Think I’ll stick with a good clean drive image, regular data backups, standard protection applications and common sense. It’s surprising how often the later is the weakest link.

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