Antivirus use and renewals

Welcome back to another fun and exciting adventure with The Weekly Geek.

Deep in the jungles of your computer case resides the ancient temple of “hard drive” where the sacred and rarely backup treasure of “all my personal data” resides. While the special guards of the “lazy boy recliner” snooze at their post, the sneaky Professor Rattan and his sneaky virus crew are digging a tunnel (opening a port / backdoor), copying the ancient manuscripts (installing a key logger), looting the gold (using a dialer to run up your phone bill) and putting fake manuscripts (using you as a SPAM relay) in your temple.

As I am sure you can guess, in this article I want us to delve into the use of anti-virus programs. I prefer some brands and cannot stand others however just like auto insurance, YOU NEED AN UP-TO-DATE Ant-virus program. You need to update it DAILY, especially you poor souls still on dial up (another great advantage of high speed internet is automatic updates “automatically” occur). You need to schedule scans of your drive(s) just in case something slipped through.

This past Holiday season I did very little work for businesses but more than usual for individuals and guess what, viruses abounded on EVERY computer that I worked on that had dial-up internet. One computer had Norton that expired October 2004 (Yes 2004, and no this was not the “most expired” anti-virus program I have run across), another expired in January of 2005 and several that expired or were not updated since this summer. Computer users cannot get away with that anymore.

Over the years I have run across plenty of people and businesses that bought a new computer, activated the anti-virus that came with it and never updated or renewed (usually the 90 day subscriptions) them. I like you, I am a people person, so please understand this does hurt me as much as it hurts you. QUIT WINING over the hours you are being charge by professionals who have to root (I threw that work in for you Linux people) out the nasties that have infected your computers. If you don’t want to spend $300 in labor getting your computer fixed, then spend the lousy $39 a year on a new anti-virus and USE IT!

This leads to my one and only New Year’s resolution that I have not broken (yet), I no longer give price breaks to individuals or businesses whose computers are infected due to their own negligence. In 2005 I logged over 124 hours cleaning up such messes and yet somehow felt sorry and only charged the customers for 18! Ouch, no wonder my kids got socks for Christmas that year.

You might be asking yourself why I am being so “harsh”, as an example, your Doctor does not give you a price break when you get lung cancer after smoking or when you have a heart attack after not working out in 40 years or even when you have a stroke from eating fast food every day for breakfast and lunch.

If you need an anti-virus program, I love ESET’s NOD32 and my 2nd favorite is Kaspersky (which has links on this web page).

This is not to suggest that you forget about anti-malware products or security “suites”, just that you remember to renew or purchase some form of security for your computer, it is a lot less expensive on your wallet in the short and long run.
Until we meet again have a virus free week.

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