Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Says Who??

Ok, I'm genuinely curious. What sort of virus protection do you use on your computer?

My desktop computer caught a nasty bug for Christmas. I was able to get it removed by accessing the services of McAfee virus specialists - cost me $89 bucks and about 45 minutes of my cell phone time, but they got it all fixed without me having to disconnect my machine and take it in somewhere. Sort of amazing that their support guys who are in INDIA can work on my machine in BOISE by remote access. Anyway, the machine is back up and running, feeling ever so much better. I've now got all three of my computers running with McAfee virus protection and feel a lot more confident that they will stay safe.

However, a good pal of mine in AZ reports having had terrible luck with McAfee and she insists she would never use them again.

So I'm just wondering what others out there are using these days.

I used to have Norton. Then I went to McAfee for a while. Then when I bought my last desktop a few years ago the friend I bought it from had put the free version of AVG on it and said that should be fine. I kept MEANING to change it, but had not gotten around to it. (THAT is how I got infected - never again!) So now I'm back on board with McAfee.

I've found their tech support people to be polite and always able to communicate clearly, and solve the issues I've gone to them for. My own experience has been I have not ever gotten bugs while running their protection. So I feel like I can rely on their product even though someone I know and respect has had a completely different experience.

Which leads me to wonder-apart from virus protection programs, when it comes to other products and services, how much stock do I put in the recommendations / warnings of friends or anonymous online reviews? When it comes to life in general how much do I listen to the advice and council of others and how much do I go after my own inclinations?

Some things are just a matter of a match...for instance some of my students would say the sociology class I teach is fabulous and would encourage their friends to also sign up for it. Others will say it is way too much work and will warn other students away from the mean teacher who is so picky about requiring citations. A lot of services that rely on relationship as much as technical skill - therapists, hair stylists, etc may be a perfect fit for some folks while not being suitable at all for someone else. Other things like banking services can be measured by a more objective yardstick - what are their locations? Their hours? Their fees?

When I go out of town (as I just did) I often read reviews of hotels online before making a reservation. When I buy new products I sometimes look for customer reviews. But on more than one occasion I have gone for some service on the advice of a friend or family member only to be sorely disappointed.

So tell me - how do YOU pick a new doctor or hair stylist or car? Who do you listen to? Also do tell me if you will, what virus protection are you using? I'd really like to know.

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