What is Zango?


SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Aug 18, 2005
Minneapolis, MN
Framing Solutions MN
My computer has a new "search Assistant:" and it is called "Zango". Is this another virus, or another advertizers tracking system (something that I'm constantly trying to clean out of my system).

I wish I was more of a techie in this regard, but I'm glad there are computer greek God's of myth, like Mike, who share their knowledge with the rest of us little people.

thanks in advance
Hi Sue

Yep, thats a bugaboo first identified in May 4, 2005. It was manually installed, or as part of another mischievous program. Your current antivirus software should have popped up a warning. The good news is that its very easy to remove.

In order to uninstall this security risk, complete the following instructions:

Click Start > Settings > Control Panel or Start > Control Panel (this varies with the operating system).

In the Control Panel window, double-click Add/Remove Programs.

Windows Me only: If you do not see the Add/Remove Programs icon, click ...view all Control Panel options.

Click Zango search tool.

Note: You may need to use the scroll bar to view the whole list.

Click Add/Remove, Change/Remove, or Remove (this varies with the operating system). Follow the prompts.

Note: After running the Add/Remove programs applet, all the files may have been removed. You will want to run a full system scan to ensure that this is the case. However, it is possible that no files will be detected after using Add/Remove programs.

Full details: http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/adware.zangosearch.html

Norton didn't pick it up, neither did my NoAdware. Little ole me spotted it a couple of days ago when I was changing my opening page and went into the advanced options.

Makes me wonder how good these anti-whatever programs really are.

Thanks Mike. I'll get on the removal.

Now... if there were a geek god for computers - what would his/her name be... that is the question.
How about "Mikus Labbus"?

(Did you mean geek god or greek god? Anyway...that!)
a "geek greek" God or should that be a "greek geek"- we are very focused on the gods we revere (Sorry Mike - worship was too strong a word to use!)
Originally posted by Val:
How about "Mikus Labbus"?

(Did you mean geek god or greek god? Anyway...that!)
Micus Labbillius has a stronger ring to it. I can picture this g{r}eek godlike being standing in a chariot, with a whip. ala Brad Pitt in Troy (or would it be more like Ben Hur?)

For the geek factor maybe instead of white stallions pulling the chariot you could use a string of the Linux penquins?
Wow Bob, now that's a picture I will carry with me all through this day!

Waddya think, Micus Labbillius?
Below are comments by norton users via CNET.
I dont expect you to read all the comments below, but it will give you an idea of the problems Norton causes.

Pros: None

Cons: Total garbage. This software itself is a virus. It permeates every new computer you buy and does nothing. It's like AOL. The company pays manufacturers to load it on every machine and spends money on promotion as opposed to being a decent product.

It has never once found a virus on the last 4 PC's I have bought. And yet, 3 of them have crashed due to viruses. It finds malware and is incapable of removing it. It tells you to refer to instructions that are free to anyone who visits the Norton website. It is garbage. Any good review you have ever read has been bought and paid for. If you wish to remove spyware and malware and adware and hijackers, then download "Spybot search and destroy" and "Ad-aware" for free. They are top notch. No problems. No glitches. Every time without fail.

I have been in the computer business for 12 years now. It is what I am paid to do. I just had a computer crash due to all the viruses Norton "antivirus" software never found.

Spend the money. Buy something that isn't pre-packaged on your PC for 3 months free. You know when a company does that they are grabbing for straws. Look at AOL. The worst rated internet provider and they send their free offers and CD's out like viruses.

There is no customer support, None. Nada. Zip. save your time people. You can't get a service rep om the phone even if a miracle worker is working for you. There are no refunds. No responses to emails. It's a black hole, waiting to suck your money in. Trust me. I'm forgiving. I give products and people a fair shake. This is one of those things in life that isn't fair. Corporate greed. Incompetence.

I wish I had an alternative to recommend at this point. I don't know. Maybe Trend Micro's PC Cillin...I used it once and it seemed good, that's the next product I'm going to. And if it doesn't work, I'll be sure to post an honest scathing review on it too.

Cons: It's completely worthless. It eats up every available resource on the computer and makes it unusable. The night after I installed it, it took 10 minutes for my computer to boot up. After it booted up, it took 6 minutes for MS Word to load. I can't imagine how bad things would have been had I actually had a virus on my computer, too.

Cons: I have been using Norton Antivirus products for well over a decade, and was a satisfied customer until I "upgraded" to Norton Antivirus 2005. Now I'm an extremely disgruntled customer, and will soon be an ex-customer.

My three main issues:

Firstly, NAV 2005 is a formidable resource hog. Any activity on my computer (read: "every" activity) that invokes NAV, slows my computer down to a crawl. The email protection of a supposedly reputable antivirus program shouldn't have to be turned off to avoid completely crippling your mail program. Also the antivirus program shouldn't have to be disabled completely in order to be able to perform even moderately resource-intensive tasks on your computer. As it now is, the only use I have for NAV 2005 is for routine virus scanning (and forget about doing anything else while that is taking place, both CPU usage and memory usage are at 100% while this happens).

Secondly, NAV 2005 is unstable and bug-infected. I don't know how many times I've had to reactivate, or how many times I've been without virus protection completely when I was offline and couldn't reactivate. I also can't count the number of times I've received error messages that have told me to uninstall and reinstall NAV 2005. For me this has been solved with reactivation and/or rebooting, but I understand that a lot of poor souls out there have fared a lot worse. A company like Symantec shouldn't release a defective product like NAV 2005 in the first place, and that they haven't had the ability or inclination produce a patch for all the well-known and much-debated problems in a full year is a disgrace.

Thirdly, Symantec customer "service" sucks, BIG time. Outrageously complex navigation to get there, no email replies, exorbitant fees for live support, and forget about refunds for defective software. It's tempting to pursue this issue but not realistic. However, if ever a class action suit is brought to Symantec for NAV 2005, I will be very happy to jump on board.

Cons: RANT MODE: ON I've been a loyal Norton user since DOS 2.1 but this year's version of the Anti-virus (acutally SystemWorks utilities) has broken my trust. I bought directly from Symantec via CD (5 legal copies, one for each computer in the house) and spent weeks trying to get it to install on my computer (my wife's and daughter's computers had no problems). Eventually, I did a clean install of Windows XP, but still couldn't install Norton as the first program on a clean machine. A total of several hours of tech support -- outsourced to India and fortunately free since it was their fault -- and we finally got a patched version to work. But the new registration system which validates legal copies, is just too much hassle. And I don't like the philosophy of not trusting your (formerly loyal) paying customers. I figure I've spent literally thousands of dollars on Norton products over the years, and they can't trust me to use a version without Windows-type validation/copy protection? Not to mention charging their loyal customers more than their new customers for annual renewals/upgrades.

I don't like how much it takes over your machine. It's nearly impossible to uninstall completely, and leaves stuff in your registry even after running clean-up utilities.

Norton utilities assume that they should have first crack at all your CPU cycles too, so you have to beat it up to let go (the defaults suck). And whenever it downloads a new trusted app list it requires you to reboot. PITA!

I guess it works OK, since I've had no virus problems, and it's caught stuff that my co-workers sent me on CD's. But Symantec has lost an semblence of the old down-to-earth Peter Norton personna. They've certainly lost sight of the needs of the grass-roots customer. So I'm taking my money elsewhere when my annual subs expire!

Cons: Instead of getting better, Norton continues on a downward spiral. Even on a new system, it's a total resource hog. Uses way too much ram and WAY too much processing power to operate. It's full system scan takes FOREVER to complete. It also slows down your Internet connection. If you want a good commercial Anti-Virus, use Nod32, it's the best. If you want a good free Anti-Virus then use AntiVir, Avast or AVG.

Cons: After several yrs of using norton AV I unistalled it and tried AVG free anti-virus to see what the talk was about. I had to reinstall XP to properly uninstall norton AV. Once I got everything up and running (AVG installed) I noticed my system seemed to run twice as QUICK and SNAPPY. AVG did everything norton did and its free!! Can't believe I wasted my time, money and system resoure on norton for so long:( EVERYONE WAS RIGHT NORTON SUCKS!!

Cons: But when I tried to unintall it; it crashed both by two PCs, and XP couldn't boot. Norton Antivus, is worse than a virus since a I had re-install everything!

Cons: Hard to uninstall,email scanning crashed,well known so its a major target for hackers.Runs alot of its own processes,memory and resource hog!

Cons: I am very disappointed with this product. I don't mind slow scans. What I do mind is, that you have to pay to get support. It detects some adware/spyware but does not always remove it. I am always faithful to keep the virus definitions uptodate, and today I ran Panda's online antivirus software, and it found 3 trojan horses, and 1 virus. Accourding to Panda, these trojans/viruses have been around for months, and Norton didn't detect them. How is it that one of the biggest antivirus companys software, isn't detecting these viruses. Their is no way to contact them and let them know that their product didn't detect these, so that, other peoples computers will not be at risk in the future. Very disturbing to think, that I have had trojan horses on my computer, and all of the information that could have been leeked. I don't feel as though my information is safe. I understand that maybe they cannot detect a new virus and remove it before they make a virus def for it, but no excuse for old viruses


Pros: Norton AV is absolutely brilliant software, in that it makes Symantec Software huge wads of cash even though it is a terrible product.

Cons: Norton's is a complete Nazi. Won't let you stop it, won't let you uninstall it. Won't tell you what the **** it is doing or let you change the way it functions. Takes over your machine and takes all power away from the user (or person who has to come in and fix the mess it has made).

Also so popular that many viruses are written specifically to defeat it.

For the love of God people! Save your money and use one of the free offerings such as AVG


Cons: It consumes very much system resources. I had a 2400 mhz, 512 ram, and after installing NAV 2005, I think in getting back my old duron 700 mhz.. nav slowed very much my system.

Kaspersky, nod32 have better detection rates than Nav, and don?t destroy my system?s performance.

I dont recommend even trying this.

Pros: ...I heard it was pretty good from a friend...and others....maybe it does SOMETHING right for once.

Cons: SERIOUSLY, this is the most crappiest thing Iv'e downloaded, since POP instant messaging! And what's more crappier than that is:

1) It don't do nothing

2)Shuts off a perfectly good firewall so it's crappy program can run

3) TOO MANY RESTARTS! I'd like to kick the ***** of that retard who made this

4)It just keeps telling me to buy the ***** EVEN AFTER IT SHUTS DOWN MY FIREWALL!

5)The guy who made this has ***** for brains.


The really dissatisfied customer, aka, living proof that you really should'nt download this ****

Pros: Price

Cons: Can't get rid of it. It never really un-installs. I've had to re-build my hard drive from scratch to get it completely off my computer.

Cons: I have to many times (6 in total) come back to Symantecs Products to see if they have regained their quality and integrity. This was the last time. Shame on this company and it's directors for allowing this product to hit the market and decieve the public. This sort of Karma will destroy what was once a fine product and company.

Dr. Robert A. Jeffries/


Cons: I have tried this product many times, and I have yet to ever see it do anything useful. We had it at work, and it claimed it found a virus on my computer. Then, it asked me if I wanted to remove it. I told the program "Uhhh, yeah", and it told me the file involved was locked and it couldn't remove it. I ended up suffering through the torture of this virus for many months.

Recently, my other computer got infected with a bug that kept sending my web browser to clicksearchclick.net, sent bulk emails, and slowed my computer to a crawl. I installed Norton, and nothing would happen when I clicked the "Next" button to begin using it. However, it was apparently running in the background because occasionally it would warn me when the spam mails that the virus was sending got blocked by a particular SMTP server.

It is obvious that Norton must devote most of their resources towards marketing and not software development. If you ever get a virus, I would just e-mail yourself your important files (which hopefully aren't infected) and re-install your operating system.

Cons: A month ago Norton Antivirus 2005 began having to be reactivated with every reboot. Hours with customer support didn't help. Just kept doing the same thing over and over. I called corporate office and someone called and I E-mailed registry settings, etc. Two weeks later, still no reponse. Now, program says it's reached its limits of activations. Another two hours with "technical help" to no avail. They don't read the notes apparently. I'm now with AVAST! as I explore other programs. I'm done with Symantec.

Cons: Besides being a resource hog, somewhat clunky and slow, it is a pest that is not possible to get rid off. Uninstalling? Upgrading? Trying to correct the corrupted installation because one of latest viruses practically trashed it? There needs to be a separate special product capable of getting rid of NAV. The only feasible solution for now: reformat your drive, reinstall windows and start over with some other AV.

Cons: If you don't renew and keep it on your computer, expect regular -- no, make that frequent -- popups warning you of the dire consequences and guiding you to their site to pay for another year of updates... So, essentially, you're using an anti-virus program that acts just like spyware. What, just because it's carries the Norton AV name I should consider that "good" spyware?

Cons: It's a resouse hog. Did you know it run like 20 things on your computer at once? DId you look in the add/remove programs and find 4 or 5 norton/symantec things on your computer? DId you look at the size? Norton puts things all over your pc and the worst thing is it's extremely hard to get the norton/symantec stuff out of your pc from add or remove, and norton leaves traces of it's self all over. I DO NOT RECCOMEND THIS. It will slow your computer down by a LOT! And you wont be able to get it all out!

Cons: I have found that Norton has a severe negative impact on system performance, and have had an increased number of system crashes since NAV was installed. NAV's detection engine is only average, currently detecting just 69058 viruses, and it's antivirus database is not updated frequently. Some of the better Anti Virus scanners, like Kaspersky and Sophos, detect in excess of 100000 known viruses and are updated multiple times per day, so Norton's detection database is missing a large number of potential virus threats and NAV users have to wait a longer time before they are protected against new threats. Norton is also very bloated, with several unnecessary modules incorporated into it. The email scanner, for example, is unnecessary if AutoProtect is enabled, because they both use the same engine, so what the email scanner misses, so will AutoProtect. The email scanner is just Symantecýs way to try to lull users into a false sense of security so users believe they are getting more protection than they are actually receiving! The tech support offered by Symantec is also very poor, users often have to wait several hours before getting through to a technician, and even then they are not much help.

Cons: This program completly takes over your computer. It puts uneeded files in your registry, and wont leave you alone. For example, when you don't want the "Auto-Protect" option on, it gives you a pop-up message every ten seconds saying that it's not on. Also, even after you uninstall it, it still leaves files in your registry. It is horrible.

Cons: I purchased Antivirus 2005 for the full price of $49.95. I first double checked to make sure it was compatible with previous versions of Norton (I was using Norton Internet Securtiy package which included Antivirus 2004). When I loaded the new 2005 it experienced major problems and would not install all the way. After days on the phone trying to get technical help (always after an interminable wait on hold), their techs had my computer so messed up it was running in safe mode and had to be reset to an earlier configuration. It turns out 2005 is NOT compatible with any previous "Norton Internet Security" package, nor is it recommended to run it on Windows 98. This even though the documentation with the product specifically says it will work with Windows 98 and will automatically update a previous version of Norton. It turns out it means ONLY the stand alone version of Norton Antivirus and NOT the Internet Security package including Antivirus. I have been on the phone for hours trying to get help for this but they say I'll just have to live with it. I now have to close 4 pop up screens when my computer boots up before I can begin to use it. One of their customer service representatives left a message on my answering machine with a garbled call back number. After a day of dialing all possible combinations I finally reached the correct number only to be told to leave a message and someone would get back to me. I have done this twice with no further contact from Symantec. Their product is terrible exceeded only by their support (read lack thereof). I now have no firewall, a messed up computer and less protection than I had befor


I have a 556mb ram computer and norton takes about 300mb of it away!

Cons: Downloaded from symantecstore, terrible install problems, then required activation would not work. Tried all fixes in knowledgebase, nothing worked. Wasted many hours, gave up and asked for refund. Still waiting for refund.

I had NAV 2005 for about 6 months, and one day I got an internal error message from Norton and it stopped working. I uninstalled it, and after I rebooted my computer, it would no longer load Windows. I could not get into safe mode nor could I use system restore to fix it. I had to bring my computer to get reformatted and lost everything on my computer. NEVER AGAIN will I use Norton Antivirus. Now I use Kaspersky Antivirus..much bettter.

Listen, Norton is simply inneffective. Never found a single virus for a whole year. Avast on the other hand found 21 trojan horses and 3 viruses on my PC, you should get avast instead and its for free. Those who spent $40 on norton should really try to get their money back.

I downloaded this program on my computer, (currently was using Panda Security but my free version was about to expire), when it asked me to restart my computer it nearly crashed! Everything on my computer was not responding!!!!! I couldn't even get my HP Invent blue screen to come up to do a system recovery! After hours of restarting and waiting I finally saved my computer! I currently use AVG!

Norton used to be the only antivirus I would use or recommend, but Symantec really dropped the ball with the more recent versions. NAV 2005 hogs system resources, causes conflicts with some of my older software titles, and gave me problems with false positives. (I guess that's better than missing something, but still...) I gave up on it (even though I had paid for the full version), and uninstalled it. To add insult to injury, the uninstall repeatedly failed, and I had to manually remove files and registry keys. I did this with the aid of third-party online forums and bulletins, because Symantec's tech support was of no help at all. Really disappointing, especially considering how good Norton once was..

I downloaded & installed Norton's anti-virus as my decision to Kazaalite to download music was a bad one which had a really evil virus which completely destroyed my 2 hard drives beyond repair. Nortons virtually paralysed my PC - what's more it failed to detect and let-in 23 spyware files in less that one hour when I had only visited 3 websites (since re-installing windows). Nortons is useless - worse than that it will wreck your computer

I recently purchased Norton System Works. It sucks. It ruined my computers stability and when updating from live update it deleted in windows registries and caused me to reload windows. I will not be reinstalling this program. Customer service from Norton is awful. I couldn't even find an email address to complain to.

I installed Norton AV. Twenty minutes later I was reformatting my hard drive. Goodbye documents and family pictures.

Symantec has yet to solve its NTFS file system issues. If you use XP don't waste your time, it is nothing but trouble. Symantec, get your act together, you once were the best but now you suck.

This is some of the worst stuff that I ever tried on my PC. The thing will hardly work now. I had to reformat my hard drive and reinstal all of my programs. I'm not happy. I hope that every one who works for Norton Gets the runs.

I was using Internet Security 2003 before I decided to by the latest version. Since I was sure Symantec will only issue stable and tested products I bougt it without installing the trial version. Installation went smoothly on a new formated XP Pro with SP2 (yes, it was really formatted and only Windows installed with the SP2 from the CD so It was not possible to get a Virus onto the machine etc. before installing IS2005 from the CD, and besides: I am not downloading any porn, a@@hole). After IS2005 was installed I was not able to install a simple program! Not Acrobat Reader, not Nero, not MS .NET, just nothing at all: Every installation was blocked and stopped in the middle of the process without error. It just hanged! After De-Installation of IS 2005 everything went on fine again and installations were possible as they should. So. I am very dissapointed. Even the Symantec Hotline was not able to give a good advice. I bought the product but can not use it and will never again unless Symantec is able to regain my confidence somehow. And after I read all the articles on the net I can't and won't no longer recommend Symantec products! Sorry for that

How most of the population of users use Norton but none gives it a good rating. lol

Symantec is a symbol of everything that is wrong with the software industry: new versions are worse than the old ones they replace, non-existent customer service, and a reluctance to give you your money back when things go wrong. I share the same problems reported by others: the product installation fails repeatedly; it is impossible to remove the program other than by manually deleting all the files; extremely unresponsive service (automated email replies; 40 minutes waiting on the phone before I hanged up); etc... Do you want to know the icing on the cake? Here is is. My previous Norton AV version was working ok, but I wanted to upgrade so I downloaded an upgrade + backup CD and paid for it with my credit card (I should have tried the free download first, and I should have read the reviews on this website, so I guess it's my fault...). After 8 hours of trying to fix it, I gave up and asked for a refund. The company promises a 12 hour window in which they cancel your order without charging your credit card. Well, guess what... they refused to cancel the order, even if I was within the window, because it was being shipped... Give me a break, I don't see my order being shipped at midnight on a Saturday night! But of course I can ask for a refund, as long as it meets the policy requirement established by Symantec etc etc... So I am going to block the payment on my card. Buyer beware.

Norton wants you to uninstall their product by using the Windows "Add/Remove Programs" feature. Problem is, this method (for Symantec product) leaves fragments of the program behind and Norton will not allow you to overwrite these files if you want to do a reinstall. You would think that a large company like Symantec would spend the time to write their own uninstall scripts! A more devastating problem is that trying to uninstall Norton Antivirus (and also the Firewall or the full System Works), using their requested procedures, can result in corrupted Windows files. It then takes a reinstallation of Windows to correct. I have contacted Symantec on this issue and all they can do is refer me to their web page showing what to do for an unsuccessful uninstall. Their solution involves many technically confusing steps. I don't think a user should have to jump through such hoops to uninstall a product. Symantec either didn't get it, or just didn't want to address the corrupted Windows files issue. I hope they write their own uninstall scripts in the future, but in the meantime, I'm using Pc-cillin which is well engineered and even provides its own uninstall program

This was Norton's 3rd strike with me. Simple & short; Ive had Norton for over two years and have had to deal with the usual interface issues, expired subscription pains, lack of customer service, and in short 2 years of growing from dislike to out right disdain bordering on wondering why no one has actually taken the makers of Norton to court for unfair and illegal business practices. Ive had OS problems, registry corruption, and have lost the most precious thing...my time. Im done with Norton and like most who have had the same issues as mysel

Not only is this program unbearbaly slow, not only is it a system resource hog, not only does it take it's sweet time scanning files, not only does it obliterate someone's once peaceful registry, but this program actually destroyed my drive after uninstalling it. I'm talking destroyed to the point that Windows wouldn't recognize my CD-ROM drives and caused random Kernel32 faults along with a nice fat blue screens, random system hangs/freeze-ups, and general **** until I reverted my drive and stripped every last byte of anything with the word "Symantec" attached to it out of it. And I didn't even have a virus to start with. I just figured it was time to update some stuff. This program will completely and utterly compromize and trash your system. *Stay away at all costs*

YES...A new record set by norton anti virus. One of my teachers came in for a "Technical Problem". Antivirus scan was set to the highest settings, up to date definitions, scan said no infections. So I run Avast Anti Virus on it.. BANG..196 Virus, wtf... I now so many cases of this software missing so many viruses, I will take it off any system and put on a propper anti virus scanner...........DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT....A NEW RECORD OF 196 VIRUSES MISSED BY THIS SO CALLED ANTI VIRUS.....................Now you know why there are so many virus floatiog around.
I stopped using Norton anti-virus about twelve years ago for most of the above reasons.

Since then, and against all advice, no anti-virus software has been used on any of our machines.

We rely on the firewall and scan occasionally for spy-ware.

We are extremely cautious about emails and installing new software.

Perhaps it's luck, but none of our machines have ever been infected.

Please note that I am NOT suggesting that anyone should follow my example. I only post this here as a matter of interest.

Probably the best anti-virus software is "AVG" There is a free version of it on their website that is more than adequate.
The best firewall and anti spyware software I have come across is "Zone alarm Pro" the last time I looked it was about $40
Both these have worked faultlessly over the 5 years or so I have been using them on my four computers. They detect and delete viruses and spyware on an almost daily basis.

Unfortunately the vast majority of computer users have no idea of what spyware and viruses are, or what they are capable of doing.
None of them are perfect, that's for sure. My primary PC (Norton) blocks at least 10 email infections per day.

I have a lot of machines and run four different products: (you can only have one av program installed per machine)

Norton 2006 basic edition: This is my favorite of the group. It catches more than Mcafee or free AVG, and pretty much keeps itself up to date reliably. Their NIS and spyware versions are terrible resource hogs, but the most basic one is ok. Hands down, this company has the lions share and is on top of identication of the new infections. They have a fantastic web based self support system that looks at your install and identifies the problem, taking you to the solution. If you want phone help, you have to pay for it or youre out of luck. It's fee based after the initial month or so.

AVG Free edtion: This is fairly effective but it misses a lot of infections, and always seems to break down and require manual intervention. The logo turns GREY, meaning its outdated. You have to open it up and manually update.

Mcafee A/V: This is my least favorite of the bunch. It misses a lot of things and is a nightmare to configure. A computer newbie would never figure out how to register and update the thing initially, which is vital. His DOS version was good, but that was many years ago when he was still involved with the company.

Panda Antivirus: This one found infections that ALL of the above failed to catch, but I had to remove the program and install Norton 2006 on Andys machine. Why? Because it was TOO effective/paranoid. Several computer games wouldn't work because it was blocking the copy protection scheme from CDs. We had to turn off the protection when he wanted to play a game, which isn't a good idea.

There are some foreign ones that get very good ratings, but I havent tried them as of yet.


Note that some programs handle virus infections, some handle spyware/adware, some handle script blocking, some handle a firewall. These are all different functions, and are often confused or grouped together as a "virus". If a program isnt catching "them all", it may just not be designed to do so. Some of the programs also identify low risk things (such as cookies or most recently used document lists), or even old emails in your deleted box, as positive hits.

If your computers are behind a router, the router will block all outside ports by default and has a very effective SPI firewall built in. The danger then becomes attacks from your own (infected) computers, behind that firewall. XP released SP2 almost 2 years ago, which has a fairly decent firewall turned on by default. This is all I use, and it's fine.

It's a good idea to run a spyware/adware check once in a while Ad-aware or Spybot search and Destroy. Ad-aware scans only when you tell it to (manually), while Spybot runs all the time at the expense of a slower running computer. These are both available for free review at www.download.com Some a/v programs have this functionality built in already, some do not.

If you have wireless, this is a critical area to secure. A competitor could literally be sitting in their vehicle with a laptop, a block away, saving your prices/pos, quickbooks files, and customer list. Wireless is nice, but its not recommended for POS use. The security protocols have all been hacked, and there are numerous tools on the internet for anyone to beat the security in a matter of minutes. There are multiple ways to secure wireless connections, and you really need to combine a couple/few to be somewhat effective. An encryption key (password) is a must as a first step, followed by mac address filtering - which only allows certain PCs in, etc. Here's more info that might be helpful if you want to secure your office or home wireless network: (old post but still useful) http://www.thegrumble.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=4;t=000725#000000

No matter which flavor of a/v you run, the important thing is to HAVE one and make sure it gets the daily updates and has not expired. A virus can easily erase the contents of your PC, ruin your day, email itself to everyone in your contact list as if from you personally, and will most certainly cause it to have poor speed/performance. Infecting your clients could become a financial and liability nightmare. Spyware and adware will broadcast your personal information and serve up ads, with slow performance.

It's a shame we have to use these kind of programs, but they're a necessarty evil. I consider it very similar to terrorism, and a waste of good programming talent.

The above is just my personal opinion. Use at your own risk.

Have a great weekend!
AVG Free edition does update automatically, mine is set to update every day.It is also set to do a scan daily, and has never broken down since I installed it.
I have it installed on 4 different computers all running totally different software, and have never had any problems at all.

I tried Norton some years ago and it was a nightmare, so have not bothered since.
I tried Panda a few months ago and had similar problems to you, plus a lot more.

The last computer I checked where no anti virus/spyware was installed had over 150 infections,and the owner had no idea they were there.

Mike has given a pretty good desciption of what they are capable of, so be warned
Originally posted by Mike Labbe @ GTP:

A virus can easily erase the contents of your PC, ruin your day, email itself to everyone in your contact list as if from you personally, and will most certainly cause it to have poor speed/performance. Infecting your clients could become a financial and liability nightmare. Mike
that happened to me with my computer! A friend in Arizona was getting strange emails from me - which routed to her daughter and others through her computer. Because we didn't understand what was happening, eventually it crashed my computer and hers ( her business computer). I know I had to have my system completely striped, reloaded, and lost everything. Hers was a worse nightmare.

That's when I became more proactive on watching for iregularities and a change in my computers behaviors.

Mike - you 'greek geek god' you- and I'm appreciative of you sharing your knowledge - it's even cheaper than a BB framing discount - but immensely more valuable.

Originally posted by MnSue:
that happened to me with my computer!
Ah someone that learnt the hard way.

I agree with you about AVG, which is a product of Grisoft, www.grisoft.com. In the USA, email sales@grisoft.com.

My computer guy put me onto it and installed it on my personal laptop computer, and then I downloaded the free version for my mother-in-law's computer.

I have downloaded the multi-station version for use in my shop on a trial basis, and in a few days it will replace Norton in all my computers.
I am switching to AVG soon too. I always read great reviews about it (even the free, personal version).

And the Firewall from Zonealarm, is very effective too. I have been using it for 4 years now.