When you go to www.emsisoft.com, your computer must first look up the actual (numerical) address, called an IP address, to locate the server that the website resides on. Your system does this by asking your internet service provider's DNS server, but first it checks the Hosts file on your computer for any addresses that have been stored there.
Unfortunately it is common for malware to add entries to the Hosts file to prevent your computer from connecting to websites that may help you detect and clean the malware.
Online Armor will monitor the Hosts file for any changes and pop-up when an Unknown program attempts to modify the Hosts file, giving you a chance to Allow or Block it.
Once a program has been allowed or blocked from modifying the Hosts file it will be added to the Programs list. You can access this list by opening the Online Armor Control Panel and selecting Hosts file from the Main Menu.
The Programs list is organized using a table with the following columns:
- Status – Shows whether the program was Allowed to or was Blocked from modifying the Hosts file.
- Program – The file name of the program on your hard drive.
- Description – Shows the name of the program.
Each row is color coded to indicate whether the program is Allowed to modify the Hosts file (green) or is Blocked from modifying the Hosts file (red).
A legend showing the colors and their corresponding status can be displayed by clicking on the Legend link above the table.
Below the Programs list are the following buttons:
- Allow – Allows the selected program to modify your Hosts file.
- Block – Blocks the program from modifying your Hosts file.
- Add – Allows you to add a program to the list (the default when adding a program is Allowed).
- Delete – Allows you to delete a program from the list.
Online Armor does not show Trusted programs by default to keep the Hosts file list more manageable. Remove the check next to the “Hide trusted” box to the left of the buttons at the bottom to see any Trusted programs in the list.
Programs List Context Menu
You can also right-click any item in the Programs list to access the following additional options:
- Find – Allows you to perform a search to find a particular program's entry.
- Autosize columns – Sets the Programs list to automatically resize all columns in the table to accommodate the longest string of text in each column.
The Options tab contains the following item:
- Prompt when an unknown program attempts to modify the hosts file – Removing the check from this box will configure Online Armor to no longer monitor the Hosts file.