Should you trust online security forum advice

Instead of posting this within the forum post that got me started on this. I’ll post it here for several reasons. One because there is less chance it will get an edit or deleted. And two I think the subject is something worth being discussed here. End users have no idea the amount of bad advice they get on a daily basis on the internet. Granted some of this advice is just a difference of opinion. Then again I don’t think most people even stop to think about what they are posting in a reply. They don’t consider the type of user they are replying to. There is no consideration¬†for the knowledge level or comfort level of the person asking a question. In general many people who reply in popular forums still show a lack of manners when taking part in a discussion. Over the years I’ve seen this need to guide others in another direction cause more harm than good. In the end many people who come seeking help end up more confused than they may have been before seeking the help. Many times the person ends up discouraged do to the attitudes displayed within the forum as well. Time and time again I’ve found myself questioning the true goal of many who post in online forums. Is it really to help people resolve their problems and secure their machines? Or is it more about getting people to do things your way? Granted I personally feel if more people would listen to me. They would have a much easier time running their home machines. I think my track record with my own machines and the solid advice I’ve given over the years defends that point of view.

Here is the simple question that no one seemed to be able to answer. Except for all the use an alternative browser and have you thought about sandboxing comments. Wake up you silly hardcore security geeks. Your average end user has no need, want or interesting in going down the sandboxing road. And if you were being honest and upfront with these people – oh and maybe actually trying to help them. You wouldn’t even make mention of this option. The average everyday user doesn’t really need to get security hardcore. They just need to follow some common sense basics.

Is my computer safe with these programs?
Just curious on how I could make my computer as safe as possible and also run nice and smooth. I currently use:

ZA Security Suite CCleaner Ad-Aware SE Pro W/Ad Watch Spyware Blaster Spybot Auslogics Disk Defrag
Windows Defender Registry Mechanic

Anything I should or shouldn’t have?

Keep in mind my reply has only a little bit to do with the vendor being used. It needs to be kept in mind that I also sell many competing vendors products as well. So in being upfront and honest. As I’ve said in the past. If you want to buy the competition I don’t agree with your opinion. But please do so from me. Now here is what my reply to that forum topic would have been.

These type of threads drive me nuts. Because in the end they almost always never truly answer the basic question and normally cause unnecessary confusion on the part of the person asking the question. For those hyping the router approach. How many times do have to get into why that isn’t the end all be all? Let us not even get into the whole browser debate. I so kick myself for not getting into a heated debate with Blake Ross last year.

With that said the simple basic answer here should have been. Yes what your currently using for security will keep you safe if properly configured. Also what should have been mentioned is security software / application overkill. The fact is several programs listed in the original post could conflict with each other. Why? Because they basically do the same thing.

Since the ZoneAlarm Security Suite now includes Kaspersky antivirus with extended databases – along with the original adware spyware feature it had before. The need for multiple backup programs is reduced greatly. Yes I know the argument for not having all your eggs in one basket. The fact remains this user could reduce resource usage and clutter by reducing the number of programs being used. There is no need for some mega drastic change in how they are doing things now. Instead of sending them down the road of confusion lets try to actually answer the question asked. If a user wants a smooth running machine clutter and conflict must be reduced. Many people see problems because they have been security paranoid brainwashed into thinking they need hundreds of programs to be safe. While it is a good thing to have security in place. Having to many similar programs running on the same machine can cause just as much aggravation as a nasty virus.

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