If you bought a Windows computer system with a free year of a Symantec product like Norton anti-virus already installed, sooner or later the year is going to be up. Then what? Run without an anti-virus? Run periodic checks with free products?
I have just spent a tiring three days installing, uninstalling, and tweeking after I tried to watch a broken online video and all of the sudden my computer “sounded different”. I was sure I had picked up some sort of malware, but Spybot Search and Destroy found nothing. AdAware found some privacy objects, but it wasn’t clear if they were removed or not. And the computer kept “sounding funny”, making a racing sound when I wasn’t running anything. Bitdefender, on the first pass, said I had a virus it had not removed, but on the full scan, nothing turned up. I even tried AVG, which merely puts viruses in a “vault” without deleting them, but that found nothing at all.
Finally I discovered Microsoft’s anti-virus products. The first one is a free online scan called Live OneCare safety scanner that found my virus and gave it a name, besides cleaning the registry of some 300 unused items. The second one is Security Essentials, free to anyone with a valid copy of windows, that removed my virus on the full scan. Once you install it, it continuously scans for viruses. They both run only under Internet Explorer, but hey, it’s Microsoft’s product, why not. You only appreciate Firefox all the more when you go back to it.
Speaking of Firefox compatibility issues, if you have the FoxLingo Translation Toolbar and are thinking of upgrading to Firefox 3.6.2, well, I just tried it and FoxLingo 2.6.1 doesn’t work with that version. I had to downgrade Firefox back to 3.6 to get the FoxLingo and Answers.com toolbars back.