How to use free ($) software to sensibly protect your Windows PC
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Let’s get right to the point. The big anti-virus products suck! McAfee sucks! Norton sucks! Panda sucks! They infect your Windows-based systems with their sucktitude until you lose all productivity. Isn’t the point of anti-virus to protect you from a loss of productivity? Does this line sound familiar?
“I spent 4 hours last night trying to update <–insert horrible piece of crap anti-virus product here–> . I finally found the solution to the problem after 2 hours of googling, 1 hour of finding so an so dll file, and 1 hour on the phone with tech support trying to find out what to do with so and so dll file.”
Here is the part where I usually say “use Ubuntu instead of Windows, duh.” However, that is simply not an option for some users. So rather than preach, I’ll tell you how to protect those Windows systems without resorting to crapware. It’s simple really. Follow these steps and everything will be much better.
-If you have a new computer (Dell, HP, whatever) uninstall that stupid free trial of whatever crappy anti-virus came with it.
-If your ISP provides you with a big-name (read crappy) anti-virus software package, DON’T USE IT! Refer to the first step and uninstall it.
-If you “know a guy” (maybe your cousin’s son’s brother-in-law) that is “good with computers” and tells you that you need to install McAfee, Norton, or Panda, schedule a meeting with him face to face. Now smack him for uttering such nonsense and proceed to the next step.
-Do visit http://www.avast.com, will ya?
-Download their free home version, install it, and register it. You’ll be much happier for it, I promise.
-A small warning: Avast does talk to you when it updates the virus database, but you can turn this off if you don’t feel like being social with your anti-virus software.
That takes care of your anti-virus woes. That was easy wasn’t it? There is one other thing you can do to help keep your computer safe. STOP USING INTERNET EXPLORER! Seriously, cut it out, will ya? I won’t get into an overly zealous technical argument over which browser is better, yada, yada, yada. I will just offer this.
Let’s say you are allergic to fish. Fish targets your allergies and you have a horrible, nasty, life-threatening reaction when you eat fish. But, fish came with your computer, so you eat it. Your prior knowledge of the horrible fish allergy should have prevented you from eating it. But now you are going to die a horrible, fishy, death. that’s not how you want things to happen is it? Why don’t you go get a nice chicken sandwich instead?
Spyware tends to target Internet Explorer. So, you are more likely to get spyware by using Internet Explorer. Having this prior knowledge, why would you want to use Internet Explorer when you computer is inherently allergic to it?
Don’t eat the fish, eat chicken. Don’t use Internet Explorer, download and install Firefox for free.
That’s it! Happy Computing!
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