I came across an article this morning on the Mercury News website about the new so called “automatic” internet security suites coming out such MS’s One Care Live service and Symantec’s future Norton 360 etc etc. I like the analogy the author uses at the beginning of the article:
You’d sign up with World’s Worst Burglar Alarm Service and get sent a box filled with door and window sensors, along with wires and a lengthy instruction manual. You’d have to install the system yourself.
When you were away from home and the alarm was tripped, World’s Worst would deliver a recorded phone message: “Should we ignore this event or call the police?” If you didn’t answer, nothing would happen.
I agree with most of the article especially the part about waiting awhile before trying out a new service that digs right down into the “deep darks” of your operating system in order to get the job done. This is the kind of software that you do not want to install when it’s new and possibly full of bugs however, despite the fact that installing your own “out of the box” security suite may be a hassle for the non-technical there are a few easily installed, extremely effective security suites out there that keep the hassle to a minimum. One of them (the one I use and found to be the most effective overall) is Panda’s Internet Security 2006 which I upgraded to from the 2005 version I previously ran. Although it may not be quite as “simple” as One Care Live over all, the installation is easy and basically non-technical and once past the initial setting up of automatic updates and registering (clue: Read the manual. It’s not that hard), the user can generally forget it’s there until they might have to acknowledge an “I’m updated” or a blocked intrusion alert. And if you think an alert or two while while on-line might get annoying, One Care Live has it’s own share of redundant alerts by what I’ve read. Quite a few more in fact but that seems to be the only real complaint besides that One Care doesn’t include email spam protection which Panda does.
I’m only using Panda as an example. It might be a little more costly at first but renewing yearly services (which has so far included the newest version of the suite at no charge) has been in my experience, considerably less than the initial purchase.
The bottom line is think twice before trying something new that’s going to live in the guts of your system like these products are required to and if you currently have an Internet Security suite and you’re happy with it and it works(!) then there really is no no reason to change.