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Light Virtualization Software Review and Guide: Shadow Defender

By: Tasos Laurentiadis | Security & Backup in Software | Posted: Mar 5, 2013 1:50 pm
TweakTown Rating: 98%Manufacturer: Shadow Defender

Software Usage Part 3


The next choice on the left of the main SD window is the Exclusion List:




You can add to the exclusion list any files or folders that you want to exclude from Shadow Mode protection. All changes to those files/folders will always be preserved no matter what. Many users choose to add frequently modified folders to this list. This includes things like their User folders (e.g. their Documents, Music, Movies, Downloads, Contacts, Saved Games, Searches, Links, or Favourites/Bookmarks folders), or any custom folders where their antivirus program stores its definitions.


As I mentioned earlier, I have moved all my User folders to a different non-protected volume, so I don't have to define any such exclusions. Please note that this is not necessarily the safest option. The vast majority of malware will target your Windows volume only (C:). Some of those may target your Contacts folder, or even add their own Favourites/Bookmark entries which may point to malicious websites. If your Favourites/Bookmarks or Contacts folders have already been moved to a non-protected volume, this means that those malicious entries will still be there even after the malware infection itself has been undone on C:


It's up to you to decide whether you want your User folders fully protected or not. If you have moved your User folders to a volume other than C: and you want those folders to be protected, then make sure to also schedule Shadow Mode to auto-start for the volume that contains them. In this case you shouldn't add those folders to SD Exclusion List either, as this would exclude them from protection anyway.


Another very important point here: If you choose to protect the volume that contains your User folders and you don't define exclusions for them, then any changes within those folders (malicious or not) will be completely undone upon rebooting. Any new Favourites you save in there will be gone, and any new files you may have added while in Shadow Mode (e.g. any new contacts, new pictures, new videos, music, downloaded files etc.) will all disappear. Also, if you delete any unwanted files contained within (e.g. old Favourites) while in Shadow Mode, then those files will come back from the dead when you reboot.


An easy way to deal with all this is to always keep those folders on a protected volume, and only commit changes to them manually and on demand, via the context menu commit option (more on that later).


I haven't provided exclusions for any folders that contain my antivirus signatures either; I prefer to allow my antivirus definitions to update to their latest version every time I go online.


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