Thanks for the Suggestion, McAfee

I was writing Steven a thank-you note for his suggestion when I diverged into a peeve of mine from a few weeks ago. Then I decided, oh what the hell, it’s a rant, post it, why let only one person enjoy? So here I am, putting an unpolished rant up instead of going to bed like a sensible person.

I was discussing the idea of using a packet sniffer to check the network out and make sure there wasn’t any funny traffic going out that shouldn’t be, like from a trojan jacking with my system. That possibility has been bugging me for a few weeks, but I installed McAfee and ran a scan. It claimed the computer was clear. Then I promptly deleted it from my system.

Why? Because it was the antithesis of no-hassle. First, it wouldn’t play nice with Zone Alarm. If you install the anti-virus software, you have to install the firewall. No choice. So I had to remove the firewall I had, and with which I am happy. Strike one.

Then it’s unclear whether or not it downloaded an updated virus definition file. Supposedly it did, but the system locked up. Ok, I reboot and fire it up. It prompts me through the setup proceedure… and “suggests” that I upgrade to the full version with all the bells and whistles and email/spam/personal data security/popup blocking, etc etc. features. Several times. As in anytime I looked to confirm what features I did have and options I could set, I’d get a message telling me how much better the more expensive version was, and how much I really, really needed it. Thank you, no, I already made that decision at Best Buy, now I’d like to run a simple virus scan, thank you! Strike two.

Then after I ran the scan and dealt with the minor items I found, I checked the summary screen one last time to make sure everything was ok, and rebooted for some reason. On boot up, I got the splash screen and a warning message telling me that there was a problem with the settings. I opened the panel to see what the problem was…and I got a popup.

The problem was that I hadn’t bought the full version with all the bells and whistles, so my protection was substandard! Yes, for only 79.99, I could upgrade to McAfee Pro and know that my personal data was secure, I’d be protected against spyware, and manna would rain from the heavens, blah, blah blah; blah, blah, blah. I can see where this is going. I’m going to be bombarded by sales pitches disguised as warning messages every time I boot up and every time I run a scan, and every time I look at the computer crossways…. and I’m not going to know the difference between the two unless and until I open the message and get a popup.

So what’s the point in protecting the user against bad behavior if you’re going to turn around and do the same objectionable thing yourself?


Strike three, four, five, and what the hell, all nine for the inning. Game over, thank you, don’t come again.

I should have stuck with Norton.

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One Response to Thanks for the Suggestion, McAfee

  1. Pingback: Mahou Meido Meganekko » Blog Archive » Heh. Vindication.

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