Post 4 – Steve Martin’s Advice About Doctors
Thirty-six years ago, Navin. R. Johnson (Steve Martin) got some great advice: The Lord loves a working man; don’t trust whitey; see a doctor and get rid of it. Over my thirty-six years on this earth, I’ve come to trust whitey (some), but if you have a virus, see a doctor.
While there is no human doctor for them Internets, these two things help your computer’s heath: PC Management software and Anti-Virus software (today, we explore the anti-virus AVG…if you care to download and not read my fun story, click here).
Computer Viruses pop up from everywhere. Like the Incredible Hulk, they cause billions of dollars of damage a year. Just one corrupted file causes everything from one program to slow to a computer crash. The worm from a malicious hacker attack could gather all of your personal information and steal your identity. Heck, that happened just yesterday to 80 million ‘mericans. Trojan horse programs exist to attack and gather your information. Fake files or programs flood your email messages, assault your brain in pop-ups on your web browser, or hide in downloaded software.
Generally if your computer acts up, relax, odds are against it being a virus. Generally, some file went kablooey or wonkey or any fun sounding term and needs reinstallation (always keep your CD’s and DVD’s nearby). These “data farts” (wow, I really just wrote that) easily fix by reinstalling software.
If doctors diagnose viruses, consider anti-virus your general practitioner. Our search engine’s first hit under “antivirus software” comes from the website Consumer Reports. Their favorite Free Anti-Virus Software: AVG Antivirus Free 2015, and rocks a four-star+ rating by CNET.com editors and users.
The download puts a 4.5MB file in your system (a total of 51MB will need to be downloaded). Open it and an 8-12 minute installation occurs. For the sake of Free Software tire-kicking, we focused on the Basic package. It comes with Anti-Virus protection and Anti-Spyware. Anti-Spyware keeps some other programs from tracking your movements, and allows you to choose which ones track you. AVG even asks if they can collect anonymous data information (not personal) from you to improve their own work. So let’s help them help you. Thanks, Tom Cruise.
Why would you ever intentionally let a company stalk you? It’s not as bad as you think. Some of the tracking allows for the searches that best fit your personality to pop up in a search engine as opposed to those you hate. You believe the next POTUS is Senator Hillary Clinton? Positive news about her shows up on your search engine. Don’t like her? Negative stories appear. Consider this comfort food for your psyche.
Back to computer health care: you miss out on Technical Support in the Basic Package. However, free forums provide solutions to most problems. The Internet Security package (the one that costs) also includes an enhanced firewall, an online shield (look up), and an Anti-Spam filter. It costs 50 smackers a computer per year. One online review likes the firewall, yet it provides the same level of anti-virus protection as the free version.
However, a firewall exists on your operating system. It better be on. I’ll find you a test. Promise. Later, we will deal with customizing firewalls later but generally they protect at home, business, or public networks. So if you are pulling an all-nighter and mainlining espresso at your local coffee hut, rest easy that the sketchy looking guy in the center of the room can’t hack your machine. Don’t worry; that won’t be me. I tend to sit at the corners.
After installation, AVG downloads the latest virus definitions, runs a complete scan, and your protection begins. Now if only protecting your health was as smooth as protecting your computer.
One final note: while you install anti-virus software, do not use your web browser. In our case, that is Mozilla Firefox. Since Anti-Spyware is being installed, those files need access to your web browser. Shut down all applications but the firewall and installation software. Computers are needy like that.