“Help! My computer won’t let me…”

By | May 26, 2012
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Joseph says Zone Alarm won’t let him access a site
My Zone Alarm will not let me access the ‘TinyURL’ that you are using in your newsletters, thus denying me the ability to read the rest of the articles. Can you use something else to shorten the original URL, or somehow advise how I may access these? I appreciate the effort that you two go through to make your Cloudeight Newsletters informative to your readers, but this is a case where I have a roadblock that prevents my being able to read some of those efforts. I thank you for any help you may be able to give me to resolve this problem.

Our Answer
Thanks for your nice comments, Joseph. The only articles in our Premium newsletters which have links you have to click in order to read the rest of the article are our Rant/Essay, and the three newsbytes. Of these only the Newsbytes occasionally TinyURL links. We use TinyURL to shorten long links. So, we know that while you say you can’t read the rest of the articles, that you’re referring to the Newsbytes – which is the only place we use TinyURL-shortened links. And, there never has been any reason not to use TinyURL – it has always had and has a great reputation. We wish we could say our opinion of the system disrupter “Zone Alarm” was a good.

Our first suggestion is never use a program that won’t “let you” use your computer as you want to use it. What if you had a TV set that wouldn’t let you watch your favorite program? What if you had a car that wouldn’t let you drive on certain roads? How long would you put up with that? Not very long. You installed the roadblock, and you can remove it. You’re in charge, not ZoneAlarm.

For some reason people think a program that won’t “let them” do something they want to do is somehow keeping them safe. All it’s really doing is annoying the heck out of you and keeping you from enjoying some of the things you could be enjoying on your computer. ZoneAlarm is one of the worst. There’s a big difference between protecting you and locking down your computer so tight you cannot use it. When it comes to the real issues, like identity theft, etc. Zone Alarm isn’t necessarily going to protect you. Why? Because, as we’ve been stressing for years, a software program does not think; it has no intelligence. But, you do. And that’s why we stress, week after week, that blindly allowing a software program to prevent you from using your computer the way you want is never a good idea, nor is it keeping you safe.

You use common sense in everything you do in life. If you’re driving down the road in your car, and you come to a stop sign and the traffic is heavy, you’re going to be a lot more careful at that intersection than you are if the traffic is light. Yet the stop sign never changes, but your reaction to it does.

The locks on the doors of your home might be good enough to keep out a petty thief, but a professional burglar could probably pick those locks and snap that security chain faster than you could say “EB”. Yet, your common sense tells you don’t need to make your home a prison by installing 30″ thick steel doors with bank-vault-quality combination locks. If you barricaded yourself into your home, it would be very annoying should you ever want to leave. Would you then say “my house won’t let me go to the store?”.

You installed Zone Alarm, you can remove it. You don’t need something that is going to turn your computer into a huge annoyance. For almost all home users the Windows Firewall is sufficient, regardless of what the doomsayers tell you. Most of them are selling something – a firewall, themselves, a newsletter, or a magazine. Nothing sells better than scaring people (just look at political ads).

Someone scared you into installing ZoneAlarm and into locking down your computer so tight you’ve lost control of your own computer — and that’s not right.

One thought on ““Help! My computer won’t let me…”

  1. Muriel

    To support TC’s comment re tinyurl….

    I’ve had a link to tinyurl in my browser’s favorites bar for many years. (The tinyurl site tells you how to do that.) I use tinyurl regularly and very often…almost daily/weekly. I don’t know how I’d do without it, except going to the bother of hiding a link under a word/phrase in my emails each time. That’s a preferred way in some instances, but most of the time tinyurl is easier, quicker, and the perfect way to avoid those horribly long URL’s that could easily be “broken” on the way to the recipient. If ANY program doesn’t let you access tinyurl links, DUMP THE PROGRAM. It’s YOUR computer. Nobody has the right to “censor” a legitimate and legal use of it.

    Reply

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