McNorton, the largest supplier of virus checkers in the world have come out and admitted that their products cause more disruption than the very viruses that they protect against.
"There are so many viruses out in the wild now," said Casper Skye, ex-Virus writer turned anti-Virus writer (after having his PC infected), "that Virus Checkers have become behemoths that take up to eighty percent of the CPU and weigh in as possibly the largest single program on a user's computer. This causes no end of grief while it's running."
Casper Skye admits that PCs would probably be crippled if it wasn't for the anti-virus software, but that would only happen once.
"Most people follow the recommended virus scans weekly," said Skye. "This means that once a week, their computer is virtually unusable for the few hours the scan takes to complete on today's large capacity machines."
According to Skye, this is overkill. Modern anti-Virus software run constantly, inspecting every file that is downloaded, uploaded or run. This catches the vast majority of viruses that can infect a machine. This results in scan after scan coming up with no infections found leading consumers to believe that their machine is not at risk and turn the virus checker off.
"Modern firewalls will keep out most threats," said Skye. "And if you don't download dodgy software, never open email you're not expecting and stick to mainstream websites, you'll never get a virus, even without anti-virus software. But the McNorton's of this world have convinced users that they will immediately become zombies without anti-virus, even if their machine is not connected to the internet."
What is Skye's solution?
"Well obviously, the first choice of rounding up every virus writer you can find, castrating them, making them eat their own testicles and then chopping them into small bits until they die is inhumane. Therefore, I suggest altering the scan from weekly to on-demand, and run it whenever you think you might have a problem."