Philobiblon: A public service rave review

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A public service rave review

A few months ago I bought the latest Norton anti-virus/anti-spam general computer security update. I'd been using the firm's products for a couple of years, in conjunction with Spy-bot and Ad-aware, and together they seemed to do a reasonable job of fighting off the attacks.

Then I installed the upgrade, and it was an instant nightmare. My CPU was continually running at 100 per cent, making any operation a mix of staccato bursts and long pauses. The programme kept refusing to acknowledge I'd registered. It put a large percentage of my real mail in the spam folder, and most of the spam in my inbox. "Teaching" it "this is not spam" seemed to have no effect whatsoever.

After putting up with this for a few months I'd had enough, and after some research tried the ZoneAlarm Pro 15-day free trial. Instant relief! I had a CPU back again, the right emails were directed with about 98 per cent accuracy into the spam box (and I haven't found a real email in there).

It is a breeze to operate - giving you quite comprehensible (well by computer standards) guidance when asking if you want to allow programs to do things (with colour coding that helps you to decide what to do about it), and easy-to-follow directions that allowed me to sort out Wordpress operation that it affected with a minimum of fuss.

And I think (any security experts out there please correct me if I'm wrong) it means I don't have to remember to run Spy-boy or Ad-aware any more.

No, I haven't bought into the company, but if you are looking for security solutions (for a PC at least - can't comment on a Mac) it could be $40 well spent.


Anonymous Terry said...

You still should use your Ad-aware and Spybot. I'd also add Spyware Blaster - it's freeware and is another line of defense. (I repair and maintain computers for a living, and install all 3 programs on my clients' machines.) Zone Alarm does a great job, but things embedded on web pages can still creep onto your computer, so it's important to keep the programs updated and run them regularly.

11/18/2005 03:05:00 am  
Anonymous Chameleon said...

According to my expert other half (programmer, games designer, computer custom-builder (very hqbdy to hqve around the home!) you need three different kinds of defence against three different kinds of threat: firstly, anti-virus against viruses (he recommends and we use - it has never let us down and he installs it routinely on all client's machines, AVG - free anti-virus, easy to find with Google); secondly, a firewall against hacker attacks (Zone Alarm provides one of the best defences) and thirdly, anti-spyware (he recommends Spy-Bot AND Adaware together). You have my e-mail if you would like to pick his brains or ask for help, which he will happily give :)

11/18/2005 08:04:00 am  
Anonymous Chameleon said...

As you can see from the above spelling errors (uncharacteristic) I have just returned from France, where I did a great deal of typing and the qs and as have been swapped, lol!

11/18/2005 08:05:00 am  
Anonymous Vicki said...

I agree with Chamelon's "expert other half".

-- Anti-virus (and it's well-known that Norton causes all kinds of problems, best to steer clear of it, especially when there are great free solutions available like AVG)

-- Firewall (Zone-Alarm used to be good but I at the time it came out I heard version 5 was a total nightmare, don't know what version it's at now but after that I am not inclined to trust it again... who can afford errors in their firewall software? Just my opinion of course and I'm sure many will disagree.) I use Kerio Personal Firewall on my PCs which is fantastic.

-- And definitely Spy-Bot and Adaware together. They target some of the same stuff, and some different stuff.

Spyware is different to viruses, which are both different to people (or machines) trying to access your computer remotely without your say-so. So you do need a 3-pronged attack.

Hope this helps... You're on the right track Natalie. (And best of luck with this new era in your life.)

11/18/2005 02:16:00 pm  
Blogger Natalie Bennett said...

Thanks for all the expert advice ... I'm just going off to run Ad-Aware and Spybot. And thanks for the best wishes.

And Chameleon, I understand entirely your problem. I just don't get why French keyboards have "q" in such a prominent place, and the "a" hidden away. It surely can't be that French uses "Q" that often. There's que and qui, I suppose, but not that much else!

11/18/2005 08:48:00 pm  
Blogger Longin said...

Thanks for the good material!
Ad-aware the best.

1/25/2006 12:34:00 am  

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