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Why You Should NOT Use 24/7 Anti-Virus Software Such as Norton

Published May 17, 2004 in TECHNOLOGY
By Ryan Parsons | Campus Resource

Being a network designer and having significant experience with computers, I finally found the need to get something off of my chest. You people, fellow computer users, do NOT necessarily need Norton or McAfee on your computer... trust me. The following document explains why it is not necessary to fear viruses/worms/trojans to the point of having every type of protection installed on your computer.

Note: This is not just an attack on Norton but could be related to many 24/7 anti-virus programs.

Why Not Norton?
First, if you are connected to high-speed internet, such as cable and dsl, and share it among your house, meaning you are behind a router, then you are already protected by some type of firewall. So adding another software firewall would be unnecessary.
Second, I have never once had a computer that had an anti-virus application running on it. And I have never had a virus/worm/whatever that did any significant damage to my computer [I have been working like this for about six years]. Now, this does not mean I never have installed anti-virus software to run a a scan from time to time (about once a year or whenever I have suspicions). And, therefore does not mean I have never found a v/w/w on my computer. At times I have found about nine or more. However, these troublemakers were unable to slow my computer or hurt my computer as much as a single anti-virus software such as Norton. Having Norton or McAfee running on my computer constantly slowed it to about 75% its potential and, at times, made it stall while opening programs such as Microsoft Word. Norton was the worst virus I have ever had.

Who is the real Bug?
It doesn't just end with computer performance either. On a customer's computer, I had tried to disable the Norton program in order to speed up the computer processes since they were hindered completely. After doing so, programs such as Word would not run since Norton has a fail-safe on programs such as this that require Norton confirmation before opening documents [such as .doc] and therefore causes the program to stall.
I also encountered a situation where Norton caused difficulties in re-installing the OS on the computer. We instead had to format the hard drive and then do a complete re-install without Norton.

But what about the big viruses I hear about on the news?
Listen, and listen close. When a major corporation, or a bunch of separate computers are hit by a virus, what makes you think your anti-virus software will protect you? The reason these companies get hit (companies mind you that spend way more than you do for virus protection) is because the anti-virus software does not recognize the signature of those new, more famous, viruses and therefore lets it pass through to computers and networks unhindered. If these anti-virus solutions cannot handle it, yours won't either. So, what is the point?

What can I do, any tips?
Don't run a 24/7 anti-virus solution on your computer. Instead, periodically (or when you feel trouble) go to and download Norton or McAfee. Run the initial scan with updated virus signatures and then completely remove the software from your computer. Next time you have an issue, do the same thing. It is easy, does not kill your computer, and is free.

On the other hand, a side note.
Campus Resource does not guarentee that you will not be hit by something such as a virus that won't significantly harm your hard drive. However, we still feel it is much easier (especially if you are a person who backs up their computer to another hard disk or CD) to format your hard drive and have a completely refreshed version of your OS installed. Your computer will run like new and you will never have to suffer the pains and consequences of having a 24/7 anti-virus program installed and running on your computer. It is great to get this off my chest from one computer user to another.

*Many viruses are stopped first-hand by your internet and mail service providers.

Get Norton here



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Ryan Parsons
Sources: Campus Resource

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