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The Case of Rapport

Dennis from NY writes:  

A new program has appeared on my computer called “Rapport”.  Don’t know where this came from or what it is. Can you help?

Hi, Dennis.  Thanks for the question.

Rapport is a security program, developed by a company called Trusteer, for use by financial institutions on their websites as well as e-commerce sites to provide an extra layer of security for their online transactions.

Your computer probably already has anti-virus and anti-spyware software installed, and that’s all well and good.  Rapport is not meant to take the place of this software.  What Rapport does is “lock down” your computer during these transactions so that no outside traffic can interfere with it.  It creates a direct connection between your computer and the website which Trusteer refers to as a “tunnel” The difference between this and the anti-spyware software that runs on your computer normally is that Rapport doesn’t rely on a database of threats.  For instance, if you are being attacked by a spyware program called “wackypaky”, and your anti-spyware program doesn’t yet have protection against “wackypaky”, then it won’t protect you.  Rapport simply closes the transaction so that malware like “wackypaky” can’t get through.  It’s kind of like locking your door when you’re doing business with someone in your house, instead of simply monitoring who comes in. 

In other words, it’s a good thing.  It adds an extra layer of security onto those websites where you really need it.

I hope that this helps.

~Randal Schaffer