Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Gun Shy

The thing about antivirus programs is that I don't trust them. Both of the programs that I currently used have failed me in the past (the epic, hard-drive clearing, re-install the OS and lose everything you've ever saved kind of fail). I have important, irreplaceable things on all computers. I can't afford to have an antivirus program that fails to protect that.

The truth of the matter is that it's not the antivirus programs, but the viruses I managed to pick up. Most computer viruses attack the antivirus first. It makes sense. Wouldn't you take out the thing that guards against you first? And maybe, at the time, the programs didn't update frequently enough, and I didn't go searching for updates as often as I should have. Still, it made me lose faith in the ability of the antivirus programs to protect my files. Particularly since two leading brands had failed me.

I've had this copy of Norton on my desktop for a couple years. It has picked up some tracking cookies and one virus that I must have gotten from a video site (and I haven't gone back!). That virus did try to disable the program first, but I managed to save it and get rid of it. I am slowly building up trust in the antivirus program again. In light of this new threat, I finally installed that final copy of Norton to keep the beast laptop protected.

Really, the key is keeping the programs up to date. Since the makers are in the business of staying on top of the newest threats, I have no other option but to trust that they can take care of them and update the programs often.

Hopefully, I haven't already picked up this newest computer enemy. So far, it looks clean.

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