Back in the 80s, there was a brief resurrection of the old Smothers Brothers show. As usual, Dick was kinda making fun of Tom, this time for being irresponsible. Tom replied that he was very responsible by saying “I’m wearing a condom right now.”
Well, I’ve seen at least a hundred times that running a computer without anti-virus, anti-spyware, and firewall software is irresponsible. I’ve been running computers for almost eighteen years now and have never ever had a malware outbreak of any kind, but the implication is that I’m still irresponsible for not running anti-malware software. I tend to think that my care in not engaging in at-risk behaviors that open the door to malware has a track record of protecting me, but I’m not deaf to these complaints.
When I bought the laptop I’m using now, it came with a trial of Nortan Internet Protection, and I’ve used it without any problems showing up anywhere (it got a little anal about some cookies I had, but I use the Cookie Culler extension in FF to clear those out periodically, so I wasn’t worry about that). The past few days it started bugging me to pay for a subscription to keep using it — since I’m clearly getting so much value out of it.
So I uninstalled it last night. I’d heard Kim Komando talk about free anti-malware programs that she considered adequate, so I went to her website immediately after that and downloaded an anti-virus package (AVG), an anti-adware package (ad-aware) and a firewall package (Zone-Alarm). And, just now, I’ve finished installing them, and have ZA correctly allowing most of my internet-using software to use the internet.
And now I feel like Tom Smothers, standing here wearing a condom. I’m so, so responsible.