Once in a while, Zone Alarm detects something that is trying to access the Internet and prompts me to allow or deny it. Usually it is something I recognise, such as a new version of Internet Explorer or some other application that I have just installed, but now and then I see this message:
Software Application is trying to access the trusted zone.
I always deny it, and nothing untoward ever happens. I regularly run AVG to check for viruses, but none has ever been found. Likewise I seem to be free of spyware and the like. If I hit ctrl+alt+delete I never see anything to concern me (though I don't know what many of the processes are, generally with unpronounceable names). Is there any way of identifying exactly what the Software Application in question actually is?
I'm going to have to go by memory on this one, but hopefully it will point you in the right direction. The reason for memory instead of direct checking is that after at least 10 years and many re-subscriptions for the paid ("Pro") version of ZoneAlarm, I deleted all of it that I could (some remains somewhere, and I just haven't had time to go find it). It has caused just too many problems.
With that said, if I remember correctly, ZoneAlarm Pro may have a feature the free version may not have (and you didn't specify which version you have). Usually there is the option in a ZoneAlarm notification pop up window that gives you the chance to find out more about the alarm. If that's not available to you (can't remember all the differences between the free version and the paid "Pro" version), you can always look in ZoneAlarm's log of the alerts it gives you to see what was just blocked by ZoneAlarm. Check that and see what you find.
I'm still trying to find a new firewall with which I'm fully comfortable, but at this point don't have any recommendations that I feel strongly enough about. But if you're using the free version of ZoneAlarm, I strongly recommend AGAINST the "Pro" version, and especially the Zonealarm Security Suite (I had "Pro" for years, recently upgraded to Security Suite, and have been kicking myself ever since for not learning from my experiences with ZoneAlarm in the past. Their software has just gotten worse and worse from a "bug" standpoint over the years (especially since they were bought out), in my strong opinion. And be aware that unless you really know where to look, ZoneAlarm will still leave traces on your computer that you won't be able to get rid of. Even Ray's "RegVac" program won't get rid of some of the trash. How do I know it's there if I haven't found yet? Easy. After the last fiasco following upgrade to ZoneAlarm Security Suite, I uninstalled the program, ran RegVac, and then (after re-booting, of course) tried to at least go back to the free version. I kept getting messages about not having registered my copy of Security Suite, and other messages specifically pertaining to that program, not the basic free version. Something common to both versions is still there, and the Security Suite remnants think I've got the full version installed. I finally dumped even the free version and have been checking out other firewalls since (no, I don't have XP, and I'm not all that jazzed about their firewall anyway - we've got it turned off in my wife's computer, and she's still running ZoneAlarm free version, since we never "up"graded her computer to the "Pro" or Security Suite version).
Hope this helps. Sorry for the ZoneAlarm rant. I've seen others doing it for years, but thought I'd stick with it. I went one step too far, and am now firmly in the militant anti-ZoneAlarm camp.
Whew!! I wasn't expecting that... However, there's not much to beat experience, and it seems you have had experiences I've missed out on. For me, ZoneAlarm has always seemed pretty docile, popping up now and then with some message or other but mostly not giving me any grief. I have the free version, so maybe that's why! Even the message in my question is only a small query, no big deal. I just wanted to know what lay behind it. The idea of consulting the log seems a good one - if only I knew where to find it. Any clues?
Whoa Partners, Before going off the deep end on Zone Alarm Pro. I've been using it since day one with no problems. Go to program control, then under programs. if you take the time to tune your applications then you will have no problems. if you don't want to do this try Comodo . The warning message is that Zone Alarm is asking if the program has your permission to contact the internet. under program control, program you can select those you want and deny others. A pro version of anything requires playing and learning. Even Ray's Excellent programs require some learning and adjusting. There are help, FAQ, and tech support, finally communities like this one. In learning to know the program you will learn about your computer. You can even use a free program called Zone log. it tells you what attacks your computer and you can specifically block them in Zone Alarm by address. try that on another firewall.