Zero-day Malware Protection
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FAQs

ThreatFire is zero-day security software designed for the average consumer. ThreatFire protects in real-time against viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware, rootkits, keyloggers, and buffer overflows. It is designed to be used alongside your current antivirus to protect you between antivirus updates. Because it is behavior-based and not signature-based, ThreatFire protects against both known and unknown, or zero-day, threats. It is easy to install, painless to use, and immediately effective against today's computer security threats. And best of all, ThreatFire is free to all home users.

ThreatFire does not need to scan your PC like other antivirus and anti-spyware software in order to protect you. ThreatFire’s behavior-based protection actively defends a PC by examining and monitoring the actual behavior of files, background tasks, and processes in order to block and prevent any behavior consistent with that of malware such as viruses, worms, trojans, or rootkits. It is always on in the background, always protecting you real-time by being on the lookout for signs of malicious behavior. If it ever detects a threat, you will be alerted immediately and the threat will be cleaned off your system. No extra scanning is required.

ThreatFire does, however, include a special rootkit scanner that can be used in addition to ThreatFire’s core behavior-based protection to seek out deeply hidden rootkits. Rootkits are a special category of threat that are notorious for hiding deep in your system, making them difficult to detect. Since they’re well-hidden, they sometimes need a little extra work to detect. ThreatFire’s rootkit scanner digs deep and alerts you to any hidden threats.

Actually, it’s good news when ThreatFire is quiet! That means that it hasn’t detected any malicious activity on your PC. Remember, ThreatFire will only alert you if it detects a threat. If there are no threats, then you won’t see any alerts. But just because it is quiet does not mean that it isn’t working hard to protect you. ThreatFire is constantly working quietly in the background, always analyzing all activity for signs of malicious behavior. If everything looks okay, then no need to bother you! However, the instant it detects something suspicious you’ll be alerted.

You should not run ThreatFire's Rootkit Scanner and expect to see results like you'd see in a traditional antivirus or anti-spyware program. You do not need to constantly scan your PC with ThreatFire in order to be protected with its cutting-edge behavioral protection.

ThreatFire's main protective capability is provided in real-time, with no scanning required. It constantly monitors your PC for any malicious behaviors. It does not need to run a scan like most traditional antivirus products in order to detect malware. And it will only alert you to a new threat if that threat is actively running and displaying malicious behavior. Because of this, ThreatFire will typically not alert you to “dormant” or old threats that are no longer active and do not display any malware behavior. ThreatFire will also not alert you to items such as tracking cookies that are not inherently harmful. It is these kinds of dormant threats or non-harmful items that other signature-based antivirus or anti-spyware scans may detect in their scans. This is only because the two types of software—behavior-based and signature-based—work in very different ways.

But because many users expect security software to scan for these types of threats, we have included a pre-install scanner in ThreatFire. This PC Security Check will perform a quick, basic scan of your system before ThreatFire is installed and will alert you if it detects any threats or cookies. If any threats are detected, then appropriate recommendations are made to assist you with removing them. This scanner is only run before installation or after certain ThreatFire updates, and it is the only time when ThreatFire may find items like dormant threats or cookies.

Please keep in mind that while signature-based scanners may find threats that ThreatFire does not, the opposite may be true here as well! There are many new and unknown threats that ThreatFire detects before traditional signature-based products even know about them so it can clear them off your system before they have a chance to do harm.

You will see, however, that ThreatFire does include a scanner—a Rootkit Scanner. This scanner will scan your system for hidden rootkits that may not currently be displaying any activity or behaviors that ThreatFire can detect through its normal behavioral analysis.

ThreatFire's Rootkit Scanner is meant to supplement the main behavioral protection provided by ThreatFire and is NOT the core of the product, as you'd expect in traditional products. ThreatFire works in a completely different way and therefore scanning is only a very small part of its overall protective capabilities.

Behavior-based protection actively defends a PC by examining and monitoring the actual behavior of files, background tasks, and processes in order to block and prevent any behavior consistent with that of malware such as viruses, worms, trojans, or rootkits. This behavior-based approach is superior to traditional signature-based antivirus software because these traditional programs offer strictly reactive protection. They can only protect you from a new threat after it has been discovered and new signatures to protect against it are developed, tested, and then released for download. ThreatFire does not rely on signatures to protect you; instead, it proactively shuts down any activity or behavior that might compromise the security of a PC. Your system is always protected, no matter how new the threat.
The key reasons why ThreatFire is superior to other behavior-based solutions are the following:
  • ThreatFire does not require any user setup or configuration. It is fully configured out-of-the-box and does not require any difficult tuning or technical knowledge on the part of the user.
  • Our patent-pending ActiveDefense™ technology offers the highest level of intelligence in determining what constitutes a threat and what does not. This results in a very low incidence of false positives, which is typically quite difficult for behavior-based solutions to achieve.
  • While ThreatFire does employ a whitelist to reduce the number of potential false positives, it does not blindly trust applications on this whitelist. ThreatFire will still always examine all the behaviors being performed on a system and if something suspicious is occurring, regardless of whether it is from a whitelisted application or not, it will alert you. Since any application can be compromised, trusting any single application is a fundamentally dangerous and ineffective approach for any security software.
  • ThreatFire is specifically designed to have a minimal impact on computing resources - far less than other behavior-based solutions, and less even than typical antivirus and anti-spyware programs. Since it is so low on resources it makes running it alongside your other resource-heavy security programs as an added layer of defense an easy decision.
ThreatFire does not rely on signature files to protect, but instead offers a better solution. ThreatFire's advanced ActiveDefense technology intelligently analyzes the behavior of processes and programs on a system and immediately halts any malicious action. The patent-pending ActiveDefense technology is the most intelligent behavioral analysis technology available today. It continuously monitors all activities on your PC at a very low system level and uses a proprietary combination of analytics, risk algorithms, program histories and tolerance thresholds to identify and shut down threats. It proactively paralyzes any activity or behavior that might compromise the security of a PC so the PC is always protected, no matter how new the threat.
  • ThreatFire offers immediate out-of-the-box real-time protection against both known and unknown threats, including viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, adware, rootkits, keyloggers, and buffer overflows.
  • It provides the perfect complement to your other signature-based security products (like your antivirus or anti-spyware software) since ThreatFire uses behavioral detection. It will not conflict with your signature-based products.
  • It is extraordinarily easy to use and install, so even novice users can have high-level security and protection.
  • Best of all, ThreatFire Free Edition is completely free for personal home use.

Since no single application is currently foolproof, a layered defense provides the most complete protection. ThreatFire is the perfect complement to your existing antivirus, and will protect you between antivirus updates. It is fully compatible with most traditional antivirus programs, and can run side-by-side with these programs without conflict. While the traditional programs will protect only against known threats included in their signatures, ThreatFire goes beyond and protects against new or unknown zero-day threats as well.

Certain types of security software, such as a firewall or security suite, may require that you configure the other program to allow ThreatFire to run. This is typically accomplished in a few quick steps and our technicians are always available to help you out if you need assistance.

Everyone should have the right to a safe and secure computing experience. The rampant growth in malicious threats and spyware over the past few years has proved to be a challenge for even experienced computer users. The vast quantities of new malware being created make it very difficult for traditional signature-based software to keep up. All these new and unknown threats pose a greater risk because they are faster spreading and more dangerous. With ThreatFire, the average consumer can now fight back and fill the gaps between antivirus signature updates.
The ThreatFire Secure Community is a worldwide network of active users who volunteer to aid in identifying new threats. Any time a suspect alert is triggered in ThreatFire, information related to this event is automatically back reported to PC Tools for analysis through a secure connection. Any information collected is held completely confidential and is used solely for the purposes of researching new or previously unknown threats, gaining an understanding of their behaviors, and developing new protection against them. Information collected may include the ThreatFire alert that fired, the history of relevant events leading to that alert, the decision taken, and a copy of the file that triggered the alert. This immediate confidential feedback on potentially dangerous new threats allows PC Tools to advance its ActiveDefense technology to block these threats. So as threat strategies evolve and new security penetration tactics emerge, ThreatFire technology will remain at the forefront of the solutions that defeat those threats. Participation in the Secure Community is voluntary and even if you elect not to participate, you'll still receive full protection from ThreatFire.
ThreatFire was designed with average, non-technical users in mind. It is straightforward and easy to install so even novice users will not be intimidated when using the software. Out-of-the-box ThreatFire is fully configured to provide the most comprehensive protection available without any interaction from the user. Users do not have to go through any complicated configuration screens to be fully protected. When program alerts are triggered, they are easy for the user to understand and they provide clear information about how to proceed. Over time, fewer alerts should trigger as the program becomes even more intelligent. Program updates providing advances in technology are done automatically in the background, again without user interaction, so the program is always up to date providing the best protection available.
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