In a story from ComputerWorld, the increased attacks occurring on older Windows versions was put forth by Symantec, no doubt hoping to increase the sales of their products, but I wonder if this might not be a coordinated effort.

Why? Because it’s possible, and Microsoft wants the very biggest of wins with the upcoming Windows 7.

Another story, just yesterday on blorge, a lesser known tech site, has another story from Symantec, giving a lengthy story about free antivirus solutions not being enough protection, and talks about all the ways in which the user’s system can be attacked. Oh, and from the savaging that Microsoft Security Essentials gets, it is clear that I was wrong about a coordinated effort from Symantec and Microsoft – they each have their reasons for wanting customers to buy a newer OS, anything other than that is pure coincidence.

The story is one of those that has just enough truth to ring true to the partially informed. Those uninformed or partly informed will become part of the sheeple that companies like Symantec depend upon for the huge revenues they generate.

There is no doubt that some free solutions are better than others, and that no antivirus is a complete solution. If the intelligent user does his homework, and secures his machine using the proper components, chances are very, very low that problems will be encountered.

While the proper components change from time to time, to get the best results, it is not a daily struggle.  But the cost of free protection is vigilance. When a story comes of a new attack by way of some other program, or add-in, it is wise to discontinue usage of that piece of software, until such time as a fix is delivered. recent problems with Adobe Reader are a good example.

I use Windows XP on most of my machines, and have no problems with anything. Part of the reason is because I don’t do stupid things, but a very large part is that I use either Avira Antivirus or AVG Antivirus (for those who open unknown attachments delivered by e-mail, I suggest AVG, as Avira doesn’t scan e-mails, but any viruses should be caught by the resident portion of Avira – still, prevention is always better than rescue!). I use Comodo Firewall, which is updated often, and has a feature that functions well above that of a firewall, called HIPS+. It functions well as an antimalware solution, so I don’t run one.

With the antivirus updated at least daily, and the firewall updated when necessary, I have zero problems. I don’t believe that there is a much higher level protection needed for most people’s uses. While a paid solution for an antivirus might be necessary for those who do high risk things, such as download pirated software from torrents, or suspicious sites, it is really not necessary for most. The best free solutions do a magnificent job of protecting, we should all send thanks to the providers who do much for the safety of our systems.

I will, as  I’ve stated before, buy at least one copy of Windows 7, but I feel no compulsion to change other systems of mine that run Windows XP, because of feature or safety concerns.


Quote of the day:

All things are difficult before they are easy.      – Dr. Thomas Fuller

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