Archives » April 15th, 2005

April 15, 2005

Norton Strikes Again

For years I’ve advocated against running Norton AntiVirus on your computer. It’s bloated, it’s buggy, it’s expensive, it’s crash-prone, and in the long run it’s more damaging to your computer than getting a virus would be. But the Nevada State Legislature didn’t listen to me (they never do) and they ended up paying the price for it.

Everyone came to work on Thursday, which just happened to be the day of a big deadline, and found that their computers were reporting they had a virus. So nobody could work on their files, and no hearings could be held because the computers handle audio and video recording. Everything ground to a halt while the IT department scrambled to clean the virus off. There was just one problem: there was no virus.

What the IT guys found was a false positive being reported by Norton. Hours of work were lost because of a problem in the virus definitions. This would be completely inexcusable from any company, but the fact that it’s Symantec, supposedly one of the biggest and most popular, just makes it even worse.

Why do companies keep buying this crap? If Symantec was a brand-new company, and it tried to give us Norton Anti-Virus, it would be laughed out of the marketplace. But because it’s been around and been huge for years, that gives them a free pass? I have no idea what could be running through the head of an IT manager that actually approves putting that trash on their network. I just can’t fathom it.

So, they can keep running Norton if they really want. And they can keep wasting time cleaning up the mess it causes. I’ll keep running AVG and NOD32 myself, and save the headaches.