FACEBOOK SECURITY

mcafeeFacebook and McAfee are offering a free six-month subscription subscription to McAfee’s Internet Security software. This may be better news for McAfee than it is for you.

With this deal, McAfee gets access to 350 million potential new customers. But what do you get?  Bob is very leery of this deal because they ask you for your credit card number before giving you the “free” product.  Almost every time a company asks for your credit card number before they give you a “free” product or service, you find yourself on an automatic billing program when that free deal expires. Surprise!  You probably forgot all about it six months later, but they didn’t.

McAfeee doesn’t charge you during the first six months, but when that’s over, you’re charged $35 for a year’s subscription. That’s a 30 percent discount over the regular price.  But it still may not be a good deal.

If you take the deal, you’ll be asked to uninstall any anti-virus product you’re currently using. We’re currently using Avast anti-virus. Unlike McAfee and most other products, it never bugs you with difficult questions about what to keep and what to throw out. If it’s malware, a category that includes viruses, trojans and the like, it’s eliminated, period. You can get the basic version of Avast for  free at  Avast.com.

Yesterday, Joy’s friend Nancy, who uses McAfee, had several forms of malware on her computer. There was a huge “block or allow” message on the screen warning her of threats. But every time Nancy clicked  “block,” the message stayed there. It turned out she had to exit completely out of the Web and then click “block,” to make the message go away. And it wasn’t at all clear what site was being blocked.

If you want to try out McAfee for yourself, go to facebook.com/mcafee and click “become a fan” or to facebook.com/security and click “protect your pc.”  Watch out for future billing.

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