If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Paid-for Malware

I sometimes get asked what anti-virus software I recommend for use on the home PC. I've tried a number of possible answers but my heart isn't in any of them: I know McAfee is a pain; bouquets for Norton outweigh the complaints, but not by much, so I've been recommending Kapersky -- I know it works and and the price is closer to reasonable. So a story like this one is a bit disconcerting. What are the lessons?

  1. Don't trust software more than you need to. We had all the warning we needed when McAfee pulled this same stunt on a bunch of system files a few years ago. Don't delete: Quarantine.
  2. It's time to start getting more assertive about my true answer....
Which is this: I don't run AV software at home. I never have. I don't do stupid things, mostly, and I don't let the children or Mrs U have administrator accounts. I know how to use autoruns (though I've never needed it) and there are the web scanners. I've never had any trouble, even on Windows, and my truly personal computer runs Linux.

Even just writing that, I can see how eccentric and impossible it seems.... really I should just say that I've no useful advice to give.

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