Monday, July 09, 2012

When Security Hampers Usability

While trying to stop viruses and other nasties from harming my PC, I've been noticing some serious issues with my web browsers recently. From ridiculous slowness. to complete freezing, to text coming out jumbled when being typed in, it was becoming a major problem.

After running lots of anti-virus scans, checking various network settings and everything else I could think of, I've finally tracked it down and figured out that the problems are caused by the Constant Guard Toolbar provided by Comcast as part of their computer security stuff they give you for free as a subscriber.

It is helpful that they give you the security package and it obviously benefits them as it prevents or at least reduces the risk of their network from becoming a bunch of virus-infected and hacked computers.

But, the Comcast Constant Guard Toolbar really does not get along well with Firefox and Google Chrome, and least not in their latest updated iterations.

How badly does it not get along?

Try as badly as absolutely constantly freezing the browser, waiting forever for pages to load and then suddenly getting a "program not responding" message as the browser goes translucent, and anytime you try to enter text in a text entry on a website it just doesn't work.

So I disabled the Constant Guard Toolbar and voila - functionality is back to 100% with the browsers and speed and text entry is back to normal.

So, if you're experiencing Chrome or Firefox browser freezing and browser slowness, you may want to try disabling the Constant Guard Toolbar and see if that resolves your problem.

Good security tools shouldn't destroy your usability in the name of enhanced security.

Of course, if you couldn't use the web browser due to the security tool making it unusable, I suppose your web browsing would then be 100% secure.

Constant Guard Toolbar - The operation is a success but the patient died. No thanks, I'll take an operational browser with a slightly higher risk over an unusable source of frustration any day.


Scott said...

The single biggest help to keep my browser clean is a Firefox addon called NoScript. It keeps all that stuff from running. There is no equivalent I know of for IE or Chrome.

Aaron said...

I will look into that application and give it a try, thanks.