There are many ad hoc solutions that we try everyday to make sure that our computing experience is a safe one.
We hear about the threats that are out there and we want to make sure that we have equipped ourselves well to be able to fight them.
For the most part, most people do not have anything except maybe their bank account online log in information that they have to worry about.
If a black hat hacker is going to take the time out of his schedule to try and attack you specifically, he is going to make sure that you have something worth taking.
If you do have sensitive items that you have to worry about, then you might want to look at a solution that has been building momentum in the last couple of years.
That solution is to do the sensitive work on a virtual machine.
There are many advantages to doing your work on a virtual machine.
I will walk you through a couple and how you can use it to keep yourself safe.
Why Do You Need A Virtual Machine?
This is probably the first question that you ask yourself.
At least if you already know what a virtual machine is.
There are several people in the reading audience that probably do not know what a virtual machine can do so I will take the time to explain it to them.
A virtual machine is a software program that can run a fully fledged operating system inside of it.
This means that if you want to run a Linux instance inside of Windows 7 then you would have no problem doing it.
This way, you do not have to reboot the machine when you need to use software that only a particular operating system can run.
Now that you know what a virtual machine is, let’s discuss why it might be the perfect option for you.
The first reason why you might want to think about using a virtual machine when you are working on something important is that you can back everything up relatively easy.
If something happens to your normal machine you are just out of luck.
Or you can spend the time backing it up every night but with so much information built up overtime that might take hours.
With a virtual machine, you can set it up so that it just has the one thing that you are working on at the time.
Since this takes up so little space, it will take you no time at all to make another copy of the file.
You can then store the file anywhere that you want to.
Another reason that you might want to use a virtual machine is that you can also set up the operating system that is hosting your project to be optimized for that one project.
When you are working on a project, there can sometimes be conflicts with other programs on your computer.
With an optimized environment set up in a virtual machine, you do not have to worry about this.
You can just run it as if it was the only program on the computer.
The big question is does all of these benefits lead you to have a safer machine in the long run?
In the next paragraph we will answer that question and maybe a little bit more.
Is Your Machine Safer?
Yes, for the most part your machine will be safer when you use a virtual machine instead of the native machine for working on your projects.
The reason why is simple.
Anytime you download a file from someone else, your machine is put at risk and most of the time when we are working on a project, we are going to get a file from someone else at some point.
You may know the person that you are downloading the file from or you may not.
The file might be from a company that your trust but it is still suspect until it has been scanned by an updated antivirus package.
Since this is the case, it is better for you to work in a disposable environment such as a virtual machine than on your native machine.
If your virtual machine is compromised by a rogue file, you can always delete it and then start again.
If your native machine is put at risk in this same manner, you must either try a scan with your antivirus to get the intruder off or in the worst case scenario, format your entire hard drive.
You can probably tell just by the description what the better option is.
When you are faced with the annihilation of all of the information that you have built up on the computer over time, then you probably want to be as careful as you can with that system.
One of the more surefire ways to do this is to use a virtual machine to do your work in.