Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 157 / OCTOBER 1993 / PAGE 112


Have you ever wondered how to keep casual users from deleting, copying, renaming, or even looking at sensitive or secret files? FailSafe Computer Guardian delivers the solution in a tiny 15K device driver or TSR, with a perfect combination of convenience, security, and performance.

As a member of the single-user, no-security old school of computing, I tend to find any kind of security cumbersome. FailSafe had to walk a tightrope between staying out of my way and protecting my machine from strangers—not an easy task.

The installation is almost a model of its kind. It explains itself every step of the way and makes only a single change to CONFIG.SYS, which it lets you review. FailSafe is normally installed as a device driver, although you can run it as a TSR from the same COM file if you so choose. The installation program can start Windows automatically, create a group file for the program, and return from Windows.

You can set FailSafe to watch for any possible file operation, such as creation, deletion, modification, renaming, reading, execution, or modification of attributes. For any of these categories, you can restrict files or groups of files using wildcards, explicitly including or excluding any combinations thereof. FailSafe also offers password protection, and you can restrict keyboard access or blank the screen. Custom profiles are available for multiple users or groups of users. Corporate users will like the fact that FailSafe generates a readable log file of all its activities, noting when attempts are made to access, delete, or copy protected files.

A side effect of FailSafe's operation is that it works effectively as a virus protection program as well. While it doesn't scan specifically for hundreds of viruses, as other programs do, its general security tactics can arguably do a better (albeit somewhat more intrusive) job, since it's constantly on the lookout for security violations.

Remember that it's still possible to defeat a software-based protection scheme by interrupting the boot process and inserting a new boot floppy. FailSafe includes a coupon for hardware disk locks from another company at the eminently reasonable price of $25, for everything from older PS/2 machines to standard PCs to Macintoshes.

FailSafe Computer Guardian protects your valuable files for a nominal price.

If you need software-based protection for your computer, you can't go wrong with FailSafe. Priced a good 80 percent less than much of its competition and able to run under both DOS and Windows, it's now the computer-security package to beat.


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