My Experiences With Anti-Virus Software
Over the years I had several different brands of anti-virus software. These are programs that you buy to protect your computer from unwanted programs. Some of them extract such a tremendous toll in system resources that they keep your computer from working. Then when you finally figure out what the problem is they will not allow you to remove them from your computer. How many people have Norton or McAfee software on their computers that they cannot remove?
The very first anti-virus software I had was Norton. I trusted Norton and begin using other Norton products to replace disk checking and defragmenting that come with Windows. The problems I begin to notice was the very big hit to system resources slowing down other computer jobs. There were the constant interruptions to my work telling Norton was doing one or another. The final event was the “pretty park” virus that came in an email. I was using Microsoft Outlook and it was set to show my email in a preview pane. This preview pane was in effect opening the email and its attachments. These preview panes were opened automatically when the previous email was closed or deleted. The computer stopped working and began trying to shut down on its own. So I disconnected it from the Internet and got out my trusty Norton rescue disk, thinking it was a good thing I had trusted Norton to protect my computer. Unfortunately this Norton rescue disk insisted that there were no viruses on this computer and so there was nothing more for it to do. Since the computer kept shutting itself I knew something was wrong. So next on a different computer I began searching for the subject in the email which was “O what a pretty park” After some search on the internet I found this created a program with a certain name, I went back to infected computer and searched for that program and it came right up. I deleted the program immediately and the computer went back to acting normally, so much for trusting Norton to protect my computer.
Next I got McAfee. The first problems were the huge hit on system resources and accompanying system slow down and inability to do certain things. This time the final events that caused me to look elsewhere were the constant dialog boxes asking me if a certain file was a virus or not. These were files I had never heard of. Quick can you tell me the names of all of the files in your favorite photo or graphics arts software? Neither could I. My answers to the dialog boxes should have been “I don’t know, that is what I hired you for”.
My next choice was Trend Micro. Again I was deluged with questions about files I had never heard of. I hate guessing in these situations because if you say the file is OK than it has free rein on your computer but if you say it is not OK it is deleted. I don’t how many bad files I approved but one I though was bad turned out to be a harmless one belonging to on of my html editors. This program quit working and I had to use different computers until I got it fixed, more wasted time.
Next I thought the master of the computer operating system would be able to best take care of its own operating system. So I got Microsoft Live One-Care. What could go wrong now? Windows should know what are good files and what are not without asking me. The problem was that they were not checking the websites I visited. By this time most viruses came from websites not email. I think most people got smart and started using web mail instead of dangerous unreliable programs like Outlook that run on your computer. When you visit a website you are downloading the programming code or html markup that allows you to see the website on your computer at home or work. This is definitely an area that your antivirus software should check. In this case I had to spend a couple of weeks fixing the damage. Because of this lost time and income no more trusting Microsoft. On external disks that I had used to back up my computers I still have Microsoft Live one-care backups that were copied with My Documents that I cannot delete because of some file locking system I can't discover. These files have absolutely no value to me and never did. They made without my knowledge by Microsoft Live one-care This is kind of stuff One-care did to me.
Next I tried Avast and it has worked great for a few years now. No more do I have system slow downs or constant dialog boxes I don’t know how to answer. Avast works by itself, updates itself everyday and does not interrupt my work several times a day with stupid questions. Anti-virus software that works does not need to tell you how well it works several times a day like Norton.
A good anti-virus program protects you and your computer, does not create files and programs on your computer you can not delete, does not have to ask you which files to keep and which to delete, does not advertise itself to you several times a day or do other pointless stuff that bogs down your computer so much that it barely works.