Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Too Much of a Good Thing

Due to the nature of 20-something white male geeks with too much time on their hands, we have to constantly worry about computer viruses. I always have a good anti-virus program running on my computers. The best program I have ever encountered for keeping my AI machines safe from the creations of young computer geeks has always been the anti-virus program that came with my RoadRunner subscription. It's called the Computer Associates Security Suite. However...there is something called "too much of a good thing". And their anti-virus program is it.

The security suite is so aggressive that I had to constantly tinker with it to look at relatively safe websites like Facebook and the CIA World Factbook. Generally, even after telling the program that these sites were safe, I'd have to resort to shutting down the firewall while I perused those sites. In addition, email from friends and professional acquaintances would routinely be routed to the spam folder and I'd have to search through that crap to locate important emails from editors and publishers, and even from my literary agent.

Now, I have to say that the program would flat out attack and quarantine and/or destroy any virus it encountered. For that, I have to give it the highest marks possible. However, it got to the point that I had to wipe it from my hard drive because of the necessity of constantly tinkering with the program and of having my computers slowed to the point of freezing by the program's tenacious tendencies. In a nutshell, it was almost as bad as having a virus on my computers.


I've been running two different anti-virus programs since I got rid of the CA stuff. Both of them worked well and my computers are--as far as I can tell--virus free. Plus I haven't had to worry about the constant freezing and the incessant tinkering to tell the system which sites are safe and which ones are not. I give the guys at CA great credit for making an aggressive program. But I'd rather have a barking dog than a pack of territorial wolverines.

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