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back to article Check Point kills scareware-style pop-up campaign

Check Point has backed down in a row over a controversial scareware-style pop-up message warning to users of its ZoneAlarm personal firewall product, admitting that it got it wrong, and withdrawing the marketing campaign. The row began after ZoneAlarm users were hit by a warning that their PCs 'may be in danger' from a newly …

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Tsk Tsk

Fancy not taking into account whether one is even running an antivirus solution before scaring folks like that!

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Silver badge
FAIL

"After listening to consumer feedback, we realised that...

"... we screwed up massively so we'd better eat some humble pie before everyone switches to other products!"

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Anonymous Coward

"we realised that it was misinterpreted"

Oh I'm sorry if you misinterpreted my attempt to clean my knife on the inside of your kidneys. That should hopefully teach you not to misinterpret me again, you see it really is your fault that you can't see things from my perspective.

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FAIL

Too late

IMO You don't get a second chance when you show willingness to stoop that low. Belkin did something similar with their router firmware fiasco a number of years ago (probably 8+ years ago now) and I have not bought so much as a Belkin cable since then.

As a result of this news yesterday, a group I belong to discussed it and some of us are now recommending Comodo firewall, which some of us think is at least as good as Zone Alarm and is free for personal use. I honestly hadn't heard about it before yesterday but I'm looking at it now.

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Silver badge

Word of warning

Comodo used to be a great personal firewall, and free.

But now they have gone the pay route, whilst still maintaining a free version for personal use.

The last time I saw that happen was with an anti-virus, and it ended badly since the company managed to patch so many warnings and popups into their dang little code that it became almost unusable.

I obviously fear Comodo will go the same route, since every single piece of security software I have ever seen go from free to paying has always ended up making the same mistakes on the free side - i.e. trying to force people to pay, often quite ungraciously.

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Megaphone

I hate Checkpoint with a passion....

The treat their customers real bad. They gave my licences away to another company with out informing me... TWICE! When I complained, I hit a wall of silence. Nothing, not even a "sorry we messed up email". Nothing!

I am the process of switching to another vender. Such a horrible arrogant company to deal with, worst than other vender I deal with.... Yes HP, a company even worse than you :p & thats saying something.

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Terminator

I agree completely...

In my entire IT career, they are the worst tech company I've ever worked with. Everyone else (Microsoft, HP, Dell, etc) are great compared to Checkpoint.

When I told my rep at Checkpoint that they are way worse than Microsoft to deal with, he was strangely insulted?

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Anonymous Coward

Avast

I switched to Avast at least a year ago.

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FAIL

Never again

I'll never use zone alarm again after reading this.

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FAIL

One of many reasons...

Why I choose to uninstall it in the 1st place...

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Silver badge
FAIL

I've been recommending it for years.

But that has now stopped, thanks to this low-life scummy attempt to fool users into purchasing their Security suite.

I have had numerous phone calls from worried customers about this pop-up. It makes me look bad, and it makes Zone Alarm look much much worse.

I too will be looking at alternatives from now on.

Ten years of hard work down the shitter! Well done chaps!

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ZoneAlarm used to be a good product

I used to really like ZoneAlarm years ago when it was still owned and developed by ZoneLabs. It was very effective and had lots of easily configurable controls. Then it got became really bloated and full of ads (mid 90's). This latest Check Point mess doesn't give me any confidence to try ZoneAlarm again either. While the Win 7 firewall seems quite effective and can stand on its own, I've got at least some doubts with the integral firewall in WinXP since it offers only one-way protection. That's OK for the most part and better than nothing, but the past few years I've used Agnitum's Outpost on WinXP set ups. Feature-wise it reminds me of what ZoneAlarm used to be, with a GUI that's much more sparse and basic. Doesn't use a lot of system resources either.

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Black Helicopters

Ah, the Memories

Yea, I abandoned Zone Alarm long ago too, probably with the buyout, switching to Kerio Personal Firewall, back in the 2.0 days before it too bloated into a "Security Suite". 2.1 still works on XP and is a lot nicer than 4.0 and later.

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Stop

And another thing...

Now, if only they'd stop the "Do you want to upgrade" screen every single sodding time I turn my laptop on....

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Black Helicopters

"and have turned the popup message off"

So they can control the firewall remotely ?

Better not use that one then.

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Big Brother

RE: "and have turned the popup message off"

Actually I'd be inclined to assume (hope) that the firewall merely calls home for promotional material when it checks for software updates.

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FAIL

Zone Alarm?

Very last decade - didn't know they were still going.

Security software needs to be silent nowadays unless there's a problem when it needs to shout from the rooftops.

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FAIL

Title, no I am a republican

Me too, just dumped it a couple of weeks ago, got fed up of the incessant pop ups trying to get me to upgrade. It used to be good.

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Silver badge

I feel like "proactively alerting users" too

ZoneAlarm is no longer an efficient anti-virus tool.

Use something else.

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Grenade

BS Copout

Checkpoint fudge-packed themselves by using the very same scareware tactics that make millions of dollars a week out of suckers who fall for phony AV scams to push their paid version - even going to the extent of claiming nothing else .

Now those same spin doctors are in damage control, but scum tactics are scum tactics, and kissing my arse with "After listening to consumer feedback, we realised that it was misinterpreted and have turned the popup message off" and similar smarmy self-serving bullshit won't change my mind.

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Grenade

Awful software, awful company

In the part of the country I cover for the NHS we use hardware firewalls (obviously) within the offices, but for those members of staff who go out and work in the community, or indeed work from home we needed a software solution.

SOMEONE *glares across the office* chose ZoneAlarm. It is without much doubt the most bloated, unconfigurable, buggy piece of crap I've used. I can't even get it to play nice with our proxy servers. I asked Checkpoint for advice but they rarely answer their phones much less an email.

I'll be glad when March comes and I can go out and procure something half decent.

This is your NHS speaking, and for your personal health and mental wellbeing we recommend against ZoneAlarm!

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