Just spent all afternoon fiddling about with anti-virus software. I’ve been using Norton Internet Security for some years now, and never had a problem with it, but their latest update seemed to have a bug in it. At least it kept telling my that I didn’t have a DLL file I needed and that I didn’t have any anti virus protection. After running through several of their suggested fixes, none of which worked, I gave up and decided to uninstall and the whole package and download and install it again from scratch. Which did work.
I don’t normally plug commercial companies here, and I only mention this as they seem to have produced an interesting plug in for browsers – essentially, if you do a google search you get a little icon against each result which tells you whether it’s safe to click on it or not. Increasingly web sites can hold malicious code which can infect your computer if you do nothing more than visit them, so this seems like a good idea. But the real point of this post is that while they appear to be using their anti-virus software to check out the sites, they’ve also set up a community, where users can review and report any site that is dodgy. Or in one of the cases I looked at, the users had found a site that certainly contained potentially malicious software, but was very explicit about the fact that it was there to test vulnerabilities. Well, so they said. I didn’t check it out by visiting it myself. I do find it interesting that a major software company is trying to take on some of the ideas from Web 2.0 and the Open Source community.
Strictly speaking it’s not really a web 2.0 application as Norton are a commercial operation and while the plug-in is free you have to have Norton’s Internet Security installed first but like social bookmarking which it rather resembles, it seems to be a very useful tool. No doubt someone in the Open Source community will come up with something very similar. If they haven’t already.