Tip #2: Just Say NO! to Freeware
Um. That statement is a bit, hah, sweeping.
- Microsoft’s Defender is freeware.
- ZoneAlarm is freeware.
- AGV Antivirus is freeware.
- Trend HouseCall is freeware.
Remember that old saying: “There’s no such thing as a free lunch.” Well, it’s definitely true when it comes to freeware, which often includes spyware in its program files.
There’s another problem here: while TANSTAAFL does indeed universally apply, it is often possible to rearrange an existing situation to eliminate waste and duplication of effort. The resulting improvement can look like a free lunch without actually being one.
I call to witness Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice, PuTTY, WinSCP, The GIMP, 7-Zip and the cornucopia of other capital-F-Free and capital-O-Open software available even under MS-Windows. These are the result of collaboration erasing a lot of wasted effort.
Deploying Firefox and Thunderbird will significantly reduce spyware infestations all by themselves, since MSIE and MSOutlook are both easier to invade and more often directly targeted by spyware (and viruses).
I appreciate that you have a marketing need to wake innocents up to the dangers they face when they install software “blind”, but you’ve used a literary grenade when you needed a sharpshooter. Some of the software I rely on daily has been caught in the crossfire.
Please publish a clarification in a future Tip.