Thanks to John Tomic for this tip.
While Microsoft does a reasonable job keeping on top of the various security vulnerabilities found in its software your system will still be exposed to threats between the time they are identified (if at all) and the time when the patch is successfully installed. Like insurance, it can be beneficial to have some extra protection just in case.
This is where the Microsoft Enhanced Mitigation Experience Toolkit (EMET) comes in handy.
EMET provides another layer of protection beyond what is baked into the operating system and antivirus/anti-malware packages you might have installed. Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is a technology that has been around since Windows XP SP2 but has relied upon applications being compiled to take advantage of it. EMET helps bring DEP to older applications which may no longer be updated or easily redeveloped and harden popular legacy software from security exploits while offering protection against modern applications (or even malware) that may not be developed with security in mind.
The non-technical explanation is that EMET helps make software more secure even if security was not even in the foresight or hindsight of the developer.
Anyway, you can download EMET 3.0 here and once installed it will start protecting your system.
EMET is compatible with:
- Windows XP SP3,
- Windows Vista SP1 and higher,
- Windows 7 and higher,
- Windows 8 (although not listed it seems to be working for me since installing it).