As well as writing a great Blog (What’s On My PC), popular guest writer Rick Robinette, often jumps in to help his readers with techno issues.
Here’s how Rick diagnosed, and solved, one reader’s problem with Norton Security Scan removal.
Hey Rick, there’s this Norton Security Scan thing that’s dug in like a tick and I can’t get rid of it… My computer is running dog slow!
This was a recent subject in an email I received. Of course, my first thought and instinct as a techie, was malware…
The Good… I started researching Norton Security Scan and from what I found is that Norton Security Scan is a free legitimate app (by Symantec), that provides on-demand scanning and removal or repair of viruses, spyware and other malware. The virus definitions are updated when your computer is connected to the internet. Ok, that did not sound too bad.
The bad… Further research indicates that Norton Security Scan has a tendency to piggyback onto your PC via other software installs (such as Adobe Shockwave Player).
From what I am reading you can opt out installing Norton Security Scan, via these other software installs, but through (in my opinion) trickery the check box to opt out is already checked. Most computer users will not know the difference; therefore, they continue the install of the app and Norton Security Scan comes along for the ride. As a result, Norton Security Scan runs alongside your other installed security software and the end result is slow PC (and the potential for problems).
The bad… Once on your PC, this app really does dig in like a tick, is very difficult to remove through normal uninstall channels, will keep coming back; AND from what I am reading will use scare tactics to encourage you to buy other Symantec security products. Hmmmm… Sounds like the tactics used in a malware scareware attack…
A Possible Solution… Getting back to the problem at hand with removing Norton Security Scan… I emailed the person back and had them run the latest version of the Norton Removal Tool and the report I received back was that “I believe we got it…”.
This tool is engineered to remove various Norton products and hooks from your PC. During my research, I did find instances where registry edits and manual deletion of files/folders associated with Norton Security Scan may also be required.
First Lesson: During any software install make sure you read everything closely during the installation steps to ensure you are installing only what you want to install. Being a seasoned software installer and tester, I have been finding more and more instances, during installation routines, where other second party apps are being installed and coming along for the ride. Sometimes the “opt out” for these apps are cleverly camouflaged.
Second Lesson: Any security apps that you have installed and you decide to uninstall them, make sure you visit the software products site to determine the removal process. Security apps, when installed (such as antivirus, antispyware, antimalware), are very complex and often require special tools to take them off of your PC. The normal uninstall process, built into Windows, typically will not do a thorough job.
This is a guest post by Rick Robinette, who brings a background as a security/police officer professional, and as an information technology specialist to the Blogging world.
Why not pay a visit to Rick’s site at What’s On My PC. Like me, you’re sure to become a frequent visitor.
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