We’ve all seen those commercials for miracle weight loss products, that really don’t work. The companies that make those kinds of products know that the FDA doesn’t regulate supplements. So they market weight-loss products as supplements and escape regulation. The can make wild claims and show fake testimonials – and make millions of dollars in the process.
The same thing happens on the Internet. Every day some security vendor comes out with a new ultimate defense against…against…well against every possible danger one could face. But the truth is – they can’t. There is no regulatory commission that prevents security companies from making wild claims that can’t be substantiated.
Take Norton, for instance. According to Norton they have the best security software in the world. If you don’t believe that, take a look at their Web site. But what is really going on with Norton? Norton is a product of Symantec, a huge multi-billion dollar software conglomerate. The spend tens of millions of dollars convincing consumers how wonderful Norton’s security products are. But just about a year ago, they added “Lifelock” ( another borderline scam – Lifelock was sued by the U.S. Government for making false claims). If Norton protected you from everything before, why did they add someone else’s product to their security suite? Marketing. It has nothing to do with protection. It has everything to do with perception and finding new ways to get your money.
There’s another smaller company out there who sells security software. We’re not going to mention their name, but they make a security suite which contains a firewall. They make wild claims how their firewall can protect you from identity theft, but it can do no such thing. They know that no one is going to prove them wrong. They know that no one is regulating their claims. They can say anything they want (unless they say something about Social Security numbers and how you can paint your Social Security number on the side of your car and they can protect you — then the Feds will step in).
There is more money wasted on security software (it’s a multi-billion-dollar business) than on any other kind of software. The truth is that you can protect your computer just as well without spending a dime. And you can believe that or not, but the old adage that “you get what you pay for” simply doesn’t hold true when it comes to security software.
As most of you know, we’re small business and we’re struggling right now. We could be making thousands of much-needed dollars by hawking $60 security programs in our newsletters and making 50% to 60% commission on them. We could deceive our readers and make money from that deception, but we’d rather go belly-up than to make money from lies, deceit and half-truths. It’s too bad security vendors don’t have the same ethics, isn’t it.
The truth is, there isn’t a single reason why you need to pay for a security suite for your computer. Not a singe valid reason in this world why you’d need to buy a security suite. There’s no reason at all why you’d need to pay for things you don’t need – like a 3rd-party firewall. Or pay for an antivirus program when their are free antivirus programs that work as well or better – and it’s been proven time and again by independent tests. Yet, we’re betting that 25% of you are still paying an annual subscription for an antivirus or security suite.
Many of you purchased computers in the last or two or three years. And we know that 99% of all new computers come with either Norton or McAfee installed on them. Norton and McAfee know that if their products are on new computers, purchasers will assume that the computer manufacturers put the best software on their new computers. That’s laughable but understandable. Dell, HP, Toshiba, Lenovo, Acer, Asus and the rest, are out to up their profit margins on new PCs and laptops. Margins are small in the computer industry and competition is fierce. Computer makers are looking every possible way to increase their profits on each new PC or laptop sold and Norton/McAfee are happy to pay to have their software installed. They know that a substantial percentage of computer users will pay the yearly subscription fee of $49, $59 or $69 every year, because they simply don’t know that there are better products available free.
Those of you who are reading this don’t represent the majority of computer users. You’ve taken the time to subscribe to this newsletter; you’re taking time to learn about your computer and to become a better computer user. And because you’re interested in being a better computer user, most of you aren’t buying into the Norton/McAfee endless loop of subscriptions. You’re saving money as you learn about your computer.
Unfortunately, most computer users don’t take the time to learn more about their computers – they just want to use it. It’s true of a lot of things. I don’t want to learn more about my car, I just want to drive it. Others, who take the time to learn about their cars, can save hundreds of dollars in maintenance and repair costs. It all depends on what you like. But you don’t have to know a lot about cars to be a good driver, but you have to know a quite a bit about computers to use a computer safely and wisely. They don’t build roads that intentionally trick you into driving off a cliff – but there are companies and sites on the web that do just that. They lure you in with trickery, then push you off the cliff in order to make money from you or steal your personal information (another way to make money). And there isn’t a single security program – free or paid – that is going to protect you from all the trickery and all the scams that are so ubiquitous on the Internet today. And it is only going to get worse. Criminals are honing their craft and it’s getting harder and harder to tell a scam from something worthwhile. The only thing that stands between you and being duped isn’t Norton, McAfee or any software program – it’s your common sense and your knowledge about your computer.
And even if we warn you a million times and you take care to do what we tell you to do to be safe, you still have to be aware and use your common sense every time you go on the Internet.
There are millions of people accessing the Internet in so many ways – smartphones, PCs, Macs, laptops, netbooks, tablets – who don’t care to know anything more than it takes to get on the Internet and do what they need or want to do. So the criminals always have a huge group of unknowledgeable people from whom to steal money and/or personal information (which is the same as money).
You can’t eat all you want and lose weight. You can’t install one security suite and relax thinking it will protect you. Nothing can protect you from yourself. The best way to be safe is to learn all you can and use your head every time you use your smartphone, laptop, PC, Mac, tablet or netbook and use the Internet. You can’t eat ice cream and cake every day and lose weight. There is no magic bullet. The best security software is free – and everyone has access to it – it’s called knowledge and common sense.
There will always be people who will believe that they can eat anything they want as often as they want and lose weight. They pay good money for useless diet pills and diet powders that don’t work. And there will always be people willing to believe that for $60 a year they can do whatever they want on the Internet and be protected from everything, all of the time. Our job is to make sure you’re not one of them.