Recently, I wrote about Secunia’s Online Software Inspector. It scanned my netbook and found several programs that it believed were out of date. As you probably know, out of date programs can give hackers an easy way to gain access to a PC. One of the programs I needed to update was Adobe Acrobat Reader.
I went to the Adobe site to get the latest updated version and while there, I saw an offer for a free copy of McAfee’s Security Scan Plus. I had never heard of it before, and my curiosity would not let me pass it up.
The McAfee product installed right after Adobe finished. A few days later, I finally got around to trying it out. Here’s the first thing you will see upon launching it. It’s a simple welcome screen, nothing more.
Next, you’ll see that you must update this product in order to use it.
The update didn’t take long and they provided an interesting animation while I waited.
Next it started scanning my PC. I was anxious to see the results at this point.
The scan seemed to take only a few seconds. When it finished, I was encouraged to see that McAfee was not complaining about the Virus protection and Firewall that I was running. I was surprised that I didn’t see any detailed analyses, only quick suggestions were offered, as you can see by their suggestion for Web Protection.
Their last recommendation for me was unexpected, but after some thought, I understand it. Apparently they scanned my Internet Explorer bookmarks and history. They were looking for risky sites. The one they found isn’t actually a security risk, because it’s a website you can’t visit in your web browser. However, it is listed as medium risk by McAfee Site Advisor.
This free Security Scan Plus application didn’t meet my expectations. McAfee’s recommendation for the free SiteAdvisor addon is good. I’ve used it before and I recommend it for people who are new to the net. It provides safety ratings on the pages you visit in your web browser and in the search results at Google, Yahoo and other search engines. The rest of their recommendations seemed very self serving to me.
McAfee does offer a few other free security tools, such as McAfee Stinger. It’s a great stand-alone virus and trojan remover. The only problem with Stinger is that you’ll never find it unless you know already know about it. McAfee does not advertise it and you won’t be able to find it easily by visiting McAfee’s website.
Techie Buzz Verdict:
Their suggestions are sound – if you have the money to pay for their solutions. Each recommendation is designed to offer McAfee a good chance to sell you something. This isn’t good free software – it’s a good marketing tool. I was very disappointed, and I only posted this review so that I can save others the trouble of downloading unwanted advertising. I would classify it as Adware.
Techie Buzz Rating: 1/5 (Poor)