Internet users have lots of choice to add extra protection to their web browser. Those who have installed an Internet security software usually get a browser toolbar or protection plugin delivered with that.
Update: The extension is no longer available. Link to the website was removed as a consequence. We suggest you use the tools described above. Firefox itself offers download and phishing protection now.
G Data CloudSecurity is a web browser protection plugin that is compatible with Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. The plugin, which is also part of all commercial G Data security products, scans web pages for malicious activity and warns users if malicious activities have been discovered during the scan. Malicious activities include phishing and malware downloads among others.
CloudSecurity displays a warning intermediary page that informs you about the findings. The page contains a warning sign, short general explanation and options to continue loading the attack site and purchasing a copy of G Data.
One problem that experienced users may have with this approach is that G Data CloudSecurity is not disclosing exactly why a website has been blocked. The explanation reads:
Due to security reasons, G Data CloudSecurity has denied access to this website. The website is either infected or a phishing site.
The lack of detailed explanations might be reason enough for experienced users to select a different web protection plugin instead.
The plugin submits web site information to the cloud, where they are analyzed and returned to the browser. There is no visible delay in the opening of websites after the plugin has been installed.
Users should run a self test on first start which they can do from the plugin's context menu.
Here it is also possible to disable the plugin for a time period. The plugin appears as a toolbar in Internet Explorer and Firefox. There does not seem to be a way to hide the toolbar in Internet Explorer. A click on the X icon of the toolbar leads to a prompt where it can be disabled and thus removed.
The always visible toolbar and the fact that explanations are general and not custom for each blocked website might keep most experienced users from using the product. Users who do not mind can download and install G Data CloudSecurity directly from the developer website. The program supports all versions of Internet Explorer from version 6 on, and Firefox 3 with support for Firefox 4 planned.
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.