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Zombies and your personal security

To enhance your security online, Avira plays by the rules – Zombieland rules. Especially Rule #2 -Double Tap.

Double Tap is a shooting technique whereby two shots are fired in rapid succession at the target. The logic is deadly clear: Always shoot twice because the enemy just might look like they are dead.

This is critical when fighting zombies where a single, simple mistake can be fatal.

First promoted by the Shanghai police in the 1930s, double tap was a response to the technical limits of full-metal jacket bullets at stopping the bad guys. But, the technique really became globally known in Zombieland, a 2009 film starring, among others, Bill Murray and Woody Harrelson.

Cast in a zombie-filled America, the film has the intertwined story lines of a student trying to reach his family in Ohio, a gun-toting maniac looking for the last Twinkie cake in America, and two sisters trying to get to an amusement park – with all four joined together in a last-ditch effort to travel safely across the country.

To survive this perilous journey, the protagonists are guided by a set of around 30 rules. And perhaps the most famous of these is Zombieland Rule #2: Double Tap.

Zombie security goes online

But just what does this have to do with online security? Quite a lot, starting with your browser. The browser on your device is a magnet for trackers, adware, and malware. Everything goes through your browser so this is really your first line of defense.

The Avira Scout browser, Avira’s own security-focused browser, has a double-barreled approach to defending your device: ABS and Privacy Badger.

ABS, short for Avira Browser Security, is backed by a blacklist of URLs. This ever-evolving list is compiled from Avira’s experiences in protecting users around the globe. It helps block trackers as well as keeping you from accidentally downloading something nasty or being sent to a malware distribution site.

Privacy Badger is based on a learning algorithm user-generated tool for blocking tracking and trackers. Developed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, It identifies trackers by their activities, the company they keep, and incorporates your feedback into its blocking. And, it also helps you disable the tracking functionality in Twitter or Facebook buttons and stops canvas fingerprinting,

“For ‘defense in depth’ (that’s what Double Tap is officially called) it is best to combine two different technologies — and that’s what we are doing here,” explained Thorsten Sick, Security Architect of the Avira Scout browser project. “If one does not stop it, the other will. It’s an application of Zombieland Rule #2. Always shoot twice because they just might look like they are dead.”

By the way: Here’s the link to the official Zombieland trailer.


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As a PR Consultant and journalist, Frink has covered IT security issues for a number of security software firms, as well as provided reviews and insight on the beer and automotive industries (but usually not at the same time). Otherwise, he’s known for making a great bowl of popcorn and extraordinary messes in a kitchen.