Which flavor of awful should I buy: Norton Vs. McAfee edition
June 24, 2016 2:10 PM   Subscribe

I am holding my CEO's credit card in my hand and cannot leave work without purchasing either Norton or McAfee today (thanks to our sales guy who keeps getting malware on his computer). Running a Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro-1370 with Windows 10 and Windows Defender, however, they are not convinced this is sufficient and are forcing me to buy/install one or the other today. Help?

I've looked at previous threads and none were recent enough (or were very specifically about uninstalling malware/doing a system restore) so any advice appreciated. Googling this is the equivalent of trying to research homeopathic medicine --- it's just a rabbit hole of BS and ad links all the way down.

Thanks y'all!
posted by Unicorn on the cob to Computers & Internet (20 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Because Peter Norton wrote some great software, books, and magazine columns back in the 80's and because John McAfee is too colorful, and because no one can decide how to pronounce "McAfee".
posted by at at 2:15 PM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Norton is reputable (I get it for free through my cable company [Comcast/Xfinity], and it keeps shit off my computer pretty well). McAfee is not. Get Norton. (Or Malwarebytes, which is free, or...)
posted by Melismata at 2:19 PM on June 24, 2016

posted by jillithd at 2:22 PM on June 24, 2016


And tell force your sales guy to stop using his machine for non-business purposes.
posted by toxic at 2:22 PM on June 24, 2016 [7 favorites]

To clarify, there are certainly better options than Norton/McAfee, but if the boss says "pick one of these two", then Norton is the better choice.
posted by toxic at 2:27 PM on June 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

Norton has good enterprise features. Otherwise bitdefender.
posted by lumpenprole at 2:27 PM on June 24, 2016

I hate Norton, but yes, it's the best of two pretty crap options.
posted by infinitywaltz at 2:37 PM on June 24, 2016

Our internal security guys recommend Malwarebytes.
posted by Kreiger at 2:39 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

posted by jferg at 2:43 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

AVG's paid version is pretty dope. But if you must pick one or the other, Norton.
posted by helloimjennsco at 2:43 PM on June 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Okay, the Ns have it -- Norton it is! God, I really hope Sales Guy stops whatever he's doing -- could be porn, could be online poker, I dunno -- but it sucks being forced to install something I don't want because someone else is technically illiterate.

Thanks for everyone's advice :) much appreciated!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 2:54 PM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Once the system is compromised, often it's not even subsequent deliberate activity that brings new infections. The browser hijacking exposes you to extremely questionable ad networks, even on SSL. Those ads then contain exploits, and the problem continues to get worse even if the user only visits Google.com or other safe sites.
posted by wnissen at 3:49 PM on June 24, 2016 [3 favorites]

Yeah, make sure you reimage this guy's machine before you give it back to him; if he's infected already, it's not worth finding out down the road when someone's undetected malware turns on you.
posted by Aleyn at 7:47 PM on June 24, 2016 [4 favorites]

If he's downloading porn, not even Norton is going to fix this. Maybe tell him you're having IT keep an eye on his computer use (even if that's not *entirely* true) to make sure he doesn't run into the same problems again.
posted by ananci at 9:42 PM on June 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

To Aleyns point, the reimaging of his machine might be a deterrent on its own. Threaten him with wiping his computer every time. Having to set up your laptop again is the worst.

I'd tell the sales guy that Norton isn't 100% perfect, and that if something slips through anyway and his computer is reinfected, the only way to deal with it will be to wipe his computer. This is done for the safety of the rest of the work network, not as a punishment. "My hands are tied, we have to keep our network safe."

Also, if the CEO hasn't considered it, does the sales guy have any confidential sales data on that laptop? Like, is his online habit potentially exposing your customer lists or contact lists?
posted by cabingirl at 6:23 AM on June 25, 2016

Also, consider getting a firewall. This would prevent people from surfing to a lot of undesirable sites.
posted by falsedmitri at 8:48 AM on June 25, 2016 [1 favorite]

Also, consider getting a [outbound] firewall. This would prevent people from surfing to a lot of undesirable sites.

The problem of employees downloading porn, playing poker, and watching dubious streams of live sporting events/etc. is a personnel problem, not a technological one.

If your sales person (or anyone else on the team) is so unprofessional that they can't stop watching porn on their work machine, even after they've been told explicitly to stop because of the demonstrable consequences, then you need to FIRE the employee, not to make it harder for them to commit obviously fireable offenses. (and it's still fireable, even if they're at home, but using company equipment).

We're not talking about children with undeveloped senses of judgement here. Don't cripple your whole company's network because of one asshole.
posted by toxic at 8:02 PM on June 25, 2016

McAfee runs those crappy ads that you have to uncheck to not install on Adobe products. So sucky. Norton
posted by theora55 at 6:54 AM on June 26, 2016

Came here to add Sales Guy is a remote employee in Minnesota who didn't have access to our work servers (only email and our request ticketing system) until last week. NOW he can access those directories, eesh.

I'm kind of actually worried. :( Will discuss firewall options with CEO next week.

Norton is installed, if f-ckery of any kind (bloatware, etc.) occurs I will update again with a warning for the next question-searcher. Thanks!
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 8:58 PM on June 28, 2016

saw http://fortune.com/2016/06/29/symantec-norton-vulnerability/ this and thought of this thread. possible ammunition in argument?
posted by andrewcooke at 6:18 AM on July 1, 2016

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