This has not been an auspicious year for me as far as computers are concerned.
My dear old Dell desktop bought in 2002 finally caved in after its fan failed. The computer was totally dead and could not be powered on at all. Thank God, I had a new one all set and ready to go, and this seemed to be a good time to finally call the Geek Squad and ask them to set up the new equipment and transfer the files over. That the Agent was able to rescue anything at all seemed downright miraculous. It wasn’t until after he left that I realized he hadn’t included my Symantec (Norton) security software.
I should have phoned Symantec right away and asked them to transfer Norton’s protection over to my new computer via remote access, something which would ultimately prove to be very easy (and free) to do. I certainly should have gotten in touch with them when they notified me that they had renewed my annual subscription and that my old computer (the one sitting out in the land fill) would be protected for another 365 days. That’s what I meant to do but the road to Hell is paved with good intentions and — unbeknownst to me — the road to Hell is exactly what I was trudging along on as I kept procrastinating. Finally, the 30-day free security protection the Geek guy had left on my computer expired and less than 24 hours after that, Antivir Solution infiltrated my new computer — charging in, taking over, and paralyzing me so that I was blocked from the Internet and every other function. All I could do was sit there and stare at a message which said:
Windows Security Alert.
Windows reports that computer is infected. Antivirus software helps to protect your computer against viruses and other security threats. Click here for the scan your computer. Your system might be at risk now.
Las year, I had been invaded by a similar hacker before but Symantec had been there to slug it out with the intruder on my behalf. This time I was on my own and unable even to research the identity of my new enemy. It was easy to see that these hackers did not have my best interest at heart. If Jim Croce were alive today, he would knownn how to describe them …
Antivir Solution is meaner than a junkyard dog.
Thank God, I have become street-smart enough to not fall for the phony-baloney business of paying for one of the three versions of Antivir Solution “remedies” offered. Not only were they expensive but they were not actual antivirus software at all — and you had to offer up a credit card to buy this bogus “protection” from the very disaster that Antivir themselves had created. That’s what they were after.
They want your credit card number.
I have the satisfaction of knowing that they didn’t get mine but it bothers me that other people may be more gullible (or panicked and easily fooled) into giving up something value to these Antivir sleazebags.
What I finally did do.
I had no choice but to phone the Geek Squad again (SIGH!). Another agent arrived and knew just what I was talking about when I filled him in with the details. Two hours, three hundred bucks and one tired Agent later, everything was back to normal and I had learned a lesson (which was thrown in for free). Maybe if you learn from my experience, it will save you lot of time, trouble, and money.
Don’t be foolish.
Taking a chance now and then may be okay — if you want to tread on Superman’s cape, spit into the wind or tear the mask off the old Lone Ranger, go ahead — but working for even one day on a computer nowadays without security software is an unacceptable risk. Don’t make the mistake I did. Pay to be protected — you may think you can’t afford it but the fact is that today you can’t afford not to.