System Safety Monitor 2 is available as a free version from the developers website. The tool basically works as a firewall preventing malicious software from starting automatically on your system. The free version runs in paranoid mode in which you have to allow or disallow any running process manually which can be a bit overwhelming at first.
Once that is out of the way though things are going to run a lot smoother. While you will still get prompts whenever you install programs or run them for the first time, it is easier to understand why the prompt appeared. The good thing about this is that processes can't slip by and run without your explicit permission.
Once installed you need to reboot your system to run the software. You notice a green icon with an S inside in your system tray once you've restarted the system. Double-clicking that icon opens the program in process viewer mode. It displays all running processes on your system and you will have to define some rules here. Right-clicking an entry enables you to block, allow or terminate a process as well as to take a look at the processes properties and modules.
Switching to the applications tab displays a list of applications that are allowed and it is easy to add applications that are blocked or allowed. The default list contains few applications and you may want to add the most commonly used programs on your system.
You have access to advanced settings in this tab as well. Take a look at the special permissions for applications for example and you notice that there are many available. Examples are:
Properties depend on the type of file (application, library, system). You can for example add a setting that disallows all users to terminate your firewall which would include you, the system admin unless you change the setting in system safety monitor. Allowed values are : allow, disallow and a prompt that is displayed every time the action comes up.
You can configure auxiliary modules on the modules tab in the main program window. These can track changes made to important operating system settings. Every module has a number of configuration settings that you can use to select the system settings that you want tracked and the actions that you want performed when changes are noticed.
The Registry and INI-Files modules have an additional configuration section: Information; It displays the names and values of all settings that are tracked. You can modify the values right here as well which is a great feature.
Last but not least you have a large options tab which controls when and how system safety monitor will be started, the logging of events, highlighting colors, hot keys, a master password and many more. It is just to much to write about every setting, everything seems highly configurable.
System Safety monitor 2 is also available as a commercial version, if you want to know about the differences between those versions check out the product page and scroll down to the bottom of that screen.
Update: System Safety Monitor has been discontinued and is no longer available. Alternatives that you may want to take a look at are Firewall App Blocker, Windows 7 Firewall Control or BufferZone Pro.
We have uploaded the latest working version of the program to our own server. You can download it with a click on the following link: ssm-188.8.131.525-free.zip
Note: We do not support the file in any way and suggest you use the applications listed above instead.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.