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Old 13th February 2004, 02:57 AM   #1
Wizard of Kelts
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Default Free Online Virus Scanners-Boon Or Clever Trick?

I am setting up a computer for a non-technical person whom I suspect is not going to pay money for an anti-virus program.

I have Norton on my machine, but I suspect she won't use one on hers.

I have seen mention of these free online virus scanners. Looks like it might be a good idea for someone who does not want to get an anti-virus. However, it strikes me that such a thing will be an invitation for some website to open up and read your entire computer.

I mean, there is a whole spyware industry devoted to writing programs that read your hard drive. This idea looks like a way to get people to actually invite a website to do so.

Anybody know anything about these free online virus scanners? I would like her to have some kind of anti-virus option, but I suspect she will forget about it and collect viruses all over the place.

PS: I put AdAware on the machine for her so she can avoid collecting spyware, at least.
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Old 13th February 2004, 03:01 AM   #2
elizard is offline elizard  Canada
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http://housecall.antivirus.com/

I've used it many times. It downloads and then scans your computer for viruses. They also make an antivirus scanner, so I trust them enough.

I suggest using this one, or another one from a reputable company (i believe mcafee offers the service as well).
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Old 13th February 2004, 08:36 AM   #3
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Use

www.free-av.com

it's free simple and has lots of engine updates (weekly) and most important they don't send mail/spam
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Old 13th February 2004, 02:34 PM   #4
Wizard of Kelts
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RWagter:

I tried that anti-virus a couple of years ago, updated often, but still ended up having to reformat my hard drive about a year later. I believe this happened twice. I suppose I should give it credit for keeping the hard drive virus-free for as long as it did, and it is free, but I decided to look elsewhere. I have seen that anti-virus mentioned favorably elsewhere, so maybe it is just my bad experience with it.
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Old 13th February 2004, 02:45 PM   #5
Wizard of Kelts
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Elizard:

Thank you, I decided set her up with that virus scanner, based on your experience as tech help. I am also going to encourage her to buy Norton, but I doubt she will.

Incidentally, I have Norton, but I get a lot of backdoor SubSeven attacks blocked. I wonder if I can run that on my own computer with the Norton. Should I disable Norton first?

One more thing-about your job as tech help. I notice that you are the fellow who wants to leave North America and go back to Europe. I hope that you are not basing this decision on the kind of questions you get from North Americans in your tech job.

A friend who was tech help for a local ISP a few years ago told me all kinds of horror stories. My favorite was the one where he had to spend 10 minutes explaining to a new computer user that the "TV looking thing" with the computer had it's very own power switch on the front, separate from the computer's, and that power switch had to be pushed before the user actually saw anything. This is a true story.
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