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 Post subject: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:12 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 pm
Posts: 7
I've been seeing these TV ads by the PCMatic guy on how they are better than any other "old technology" anitvirus, like Norton, etc. and also that they can protect XP anyway in spite of Microsoft's "abandonment" of the OS.

If you are like me, I support my friends' PCs. I have gotten calls from older friends (meaning generally poor, with no tech skills) who want to know what they should do about their ancient, single-core, low-memory XP machines.

I have been telling them I wouldn't use them anymore, at least not connected to the Internet, which is about all they do. Finally time for a new one and choke down learning Windows 8.

I'm afraid they will see these ads, spend the $50 for this program, and then continue to do on-line banking, etc. thinking they are safe. If this software does not truly work, it is dangerous for folks to think so. I'll be the one that has to try to fix it for them, too.

Could we see a review of this software and their claims to protect XP anyway? And, if that is really possible at all?

Finally, I wonder if the patches supplied to the companies who will pay Microsoft for extended XP support will leak to the public?

I need accurate answers to those who turn to me for advice, and right now I am not sure.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:25 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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What I think they mean by extended support is just technical support. I doubt they're going to spend any more time patching the OS. Besides that, even if Microsoft did make security patches, I wouldn't trust them from anywhere else other than Windows Update. In fact, it's about a good chunk of the reason why I don't pirate Windows: how do I know it's a clean copy?

I'm surprised you're not worried about your friends seeing the more common "MyCleanPC.com" ads, which seem to plaster themselves everywhere on daytime TV. And yes, it's a scam.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 8:49 am 
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Can't you just install a free antivirus (I like avast) and firewall? Get rid of IE and set up firefox with NoScript, Adblock+. Give them some advice on "safe" e-banking and working with sensitive info.

If you want to save money, you give up convenience. You can't have it all.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:30 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 pm
Posts: 7
These are non-tech folks, mainly. Cannot maintain their own PC. They resist changing to something new and spending money both. They could always switch to a Linux distro if otherwise.

Am I right in recommending to just junk a pc too old to run even Windows 7 well? After all, it's not worth spending the money to upgrade a weak old box to a newer OS at the OS prices. I can make sure their old one is wiped and donate it to Goodwill Computer Works, who make some money even by loading up non-useable or broken parts and selling to recyclers (don't ever just trash old pc parts!). At least a charity can make a couple bucks.

I just don't think there is anything one can do to make XP safe after support is now discontinued, I am surprised by claims otherwise, and wanted some expert answers.

Is it even possible?


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:42 am 
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tombodude wrote:
These are non-tech folks, mainly. Cannot maintain their own PC. They resist changing to something new and spending money both. They could always switch to a Linux distro if otherwise.



Is this mainly just for web browsing, checking email? I think you can put linux on it. I "taught" my dad to use it. The interface is a little different but it doesn't matter if only web browsing is used. It's very easy to pick up and I think there are skins that make it look similar to Windows.

Only thing is that updates may break something that was working earlier, so watch out for that.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:42 am 
Smithfield
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Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
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Just because XP is being discontinued doesn't automatically make it unsafe to use. The security patches that Microsoft sends out is just to fix up holes. And while yes, someone may try to exploit these holes, I honestly don't think they're exploited en masse just so someone could steal your information. If I was a hacker trying to make money, I'd rather purpose your machine to run a botnet, not try to sniff out your bank account. That stuff is traceable.

Aside from a good anti-virus software, a secure browser, and a good firewall, the only other way I'm aware of that'll do wonders for XP's security is not running as an admin... Of course, I'm sure your friends would complain that they have to "log in" into the admin every time they want to do something and just run as the admin anyway.

As for a computer being "too old", it depends. I ran Vista just fine on a Socket 939 Athlon X2 3800+ with 2GB of DDR-400 RAM. So if the computers are somewhere around there, Windows 7 should be fine. Otherwise, yes, slap on a Linux distro unless they're diehard about playing their vidya games (not that a machine that old could play anything remotely modern...)


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 4:24 pm 
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Hackers are going to go after large companies. Large companies tend to have very old servers and that sometimes are rarely patched.

For example, on a recent trip to Nebraska Furniture Mart in Kansas I noticed most of their workstations are still running XP Pro. These workstations are connected to a corporate network and most of them are not monitored well by the roaming employees. All it takes is a flash drive and a batch file to pivot to another machine and eventually compromise the network/any other machines. The attacker will look like an employee and he/she may be fired or worse. If I were an attacker, I would go more towards the company rather than individual users.

Microsoft not releasing any additional patches is not necessarily going to make a computer suddenly less secure. I'm more worried about 3rd party products. I'm looking at you Oracle. As for Windows, I will say that given the depth of code Microsoft did a great job of making it secure. The 3rd party drivers and programs make the operating system less secure and the same thing goes for any operating system, even Linux.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:30 pm 
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hackman2007 wrote:

Microsoft not releasing any additional patches is not necessarily going to make a computer suddenly less secure. I'm more worried about 3rd party products. I'm looking at you Oracle. As for Windows, I will say that given the depth of code Microsoft did a great job of making it secure. The 3rd party drivers and programs make the operating system less secure and the same thing goes for any operating system, even Linux.


The best reason to move away from Windows is the off chance that some new bug is discovered and exploited. All other OSes are churning out patches. But not much you can do if you use 3rd party software that is weak.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:44 pm 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5387
The only OS that still receives patches from day 1 is Linux. And even then, I don't think an older version of a Linux distro will react very well to the most recent kernel update.

However, XP does have some pitfalls regarding security, especially if you run your main account as an admin. And honestly, I would never run Windows on an admin as my main account, despite the security improvements NT6 brought.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 6:55 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 pm
Posts: 7
Hey, I appreciate the responses, but you are all moving well away from the topic.

I am not going to do anything for these people but advise them; I'm certainly not going to spend any time on their old boxes, spend hours to save them pennies. And, anything beyond what they know now is something they will not/can not learn. Linux, admin, install this or that etc. is just greek.

The question was and still is: is the claim that PCMatic commercials make that they can make XP safe or not true?

Otherwise they need to be warned off of it absolutely; and not get suckered in by a false claim and buy that stuff and think they are secure when not.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:50 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5387
A quick Google search shows that it does what it's supposed to do, and then some, but it's not really worth the money. Some people reported that it flags system restore files as junk files and should be deleted and it tries to "optimize" your TCP/IP settings for "faster" internet. The only thing on their list of claims that could make XP safer is the IP blocker.

The general consensus though is basically, avoid it. In fact, I'm dubious about most PC optimization software.

But point is, there's nothing you can do to make XP safer. Most security holes in Windows are exploited because the user did something the attacker wanted them to do in the first place. Drill it in your friends the rules for internet safety and if they fudge up their computers because they didn't learn, I would just charge them.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 7:58 am 
8086
8086

Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:40 pm
Posts: 7
It's not their fixit stuff, it's their latest ads on TV that their antivirus can keep XP safe while the others can't.


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 Post subject: Re: PCMatic claim to protect XP after support ends; true?
PostPosted: Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:06 am 
Smithfield
Smithfield

Joined: Sun Jun 18, 2006 7:37 pm
Posts: 5387
tombodude wrote:
It's not their fixit stuff, it's their latest ads on TV that their antivirus can keep XP safe while the others can't.

Uh, sure, they keep believing what they're marketing. If they're saying "others" as a blanket term, then ESET (who makes what is currently considered one of the best internet security suites) needs to hire better security specialists ;3

The only way short of finding reviews out there is just try it yourself on a VM with XP and going through every bad practice you can think of.


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