Being offline in an online world

Have you stopped to wonder what the world would be like without the internet or PCs? What if Bill Gates or Steve Jobs had never been born.  Our desks would have no large expensive units with shiny screens sending shiny new products into our living rooms, dens or office spaces.  Email would be unknown and snail mail would still be in vogue.  The postman would still be ringing just once (a day). Paying our bills would be done over a span of 3-5 days due to the time needed to mail the payment envelope to said utility/insurance/car finance company’s location.

That was my world for the past month (almost) and it was an eye-opening experience.

Because we DO have the internet and all it entails, we also need virus protection, right?  You wouldn’t go around in this dirty, dangerous world without your vaccinations, tripping through sewage in dirty unpaved areas, swimming in dirty oceans to snap pics of undiscovered species, walking barefooted through constructions sites.  Well, perhaps those scenarios are a bit far-fetched, but you get my meaning.  We all had to have our shots growing up before we could even attend public schools, so vaccinations are a part of life.

The internet is a dark and dangerous place.  We all know it is.  Lots of things out there can and do hurt people on  a daily basis.  But there are also some pretty amazing things if you only take the time to look.  Some people out there are bent on your computer’s destruction and they counting on you to go out there and seek out something new, exciting and wonderful for yourself or someone you know.  And believe me the possibilities are endless!  Cool stuff is all around us.  Yet……danger lurks.

So, being the responsible persons that we all are, we protect our computers, which let’s face it, are a serious investment.  Some can cost bookoos of bucks but they can soar with the eagles if that’s your cup of tea.  We protect our digital babies like they are more precious than gold, locking them down with anti-virus software,  blocking tools, filters, etc that keep the evil-doers at bay.  But, can there be too much of a good thing?  In my case the answer to that was ‘yes’.

I had security suite of tools on my computer to protect all I do because my business is online-based.  My store front is now and has always been online.  No brick and mortar came first and from the looks of it will never be in the future. So I don’t want to put up a site that contains dangerous code, malware, keyloggers, spyware, virus, trojans, or anything else around now that could crash a customer’s computer or phone.  I installed Norton last October, seeing a really great deal for 50% off on 10 devices.  All was well for 9 months, then the digital world I lived in imploded.

I don’t know if there was a Windows 10 update that caused it to seize up, but in early July, all our devices migrated.  Mine happened on the 7th and the hubby’s laptop had this happen on the 10th.  His continued to run just fine, though once his did have a problem with one of the Windows updates, so I altered his a bit to get it back running properly again.  Then mine became increasingly difficult to use.  I couldn’t log into a site, could not pull up a web site page, couldn’t do anything online.  If it required going out into the internet, it was not possible.  I was blocked in. It took 2-3 weeks to narrow down the possibilities of what was causing the blockade stopping me from getting anything back from out there, but eventually it was narrowed down to Norton Security Suite. I had to uninstall it completely from my desktop and use other options  to immediately replace it.

So why now?  It ran fine for 9 months, so what happened?  I can only assume this much to be a possibility….it was installed back in October when the Windows 10 build was compatible with it, working smoothly during the intervening months, then an update changed some aspect of Windows 10 that was not fully compliant with Windows 10 and it began to twinge a bit in pain.  Over the span of a few days or perhaps about a week, I slowly lost connectivity.  All other potential issues were viewed, tested, then eliminated until the only possibility left was Norton.  That was verified last night after I removed it completely from this computer and now it’s working fine.

I have other protective software, it’s even free, so there’s no worries that something virulent will get in and destroy all I’ve worked so hard on for years.  But if anyone else out there has had this issue with Norton and Windows 10, please chime in.  Also let others in Microsoft and Symantec, the maker’s of Norton AV software know about this issue so future releases will address this problem.

With that, I leave you now as it’s my dinner time.  I’ll see you all around the web and safe surfing, everyone!

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