This is a bit of a public service announcement.
Those of who you are online banking customers of Barclays may have noticed recently they’ve partnered with i-sure to provide customers with at least 2GB of free online storage and Windows software to manage it all. A very new customer would find their asking for bank details suspect, but have no fear as the same was asked for when Kaspersky software was given away for free. It’s just to verify legit customers.
The problem however is that when I signed up for i-sure two things happened…
1) When I tried installing the software, halfway through installation the install froze. I managed to kill the installation via Task Manager but noticed a generic i-sure icon did make it to my desktop along with a 100mb folder under Program Files. But there was no uninstall entry under Start/Programs or Control Panel/Add-Remove Software.
Worse however was that the computer seemingly messed up. I couldn’t open any file dialog boxes properly, programs wouldn’t start and eventually the whole thing would freeze and the only way I could shut down was pulling the plug. I was cursing away and decided to phone i-sure, who though polite couldn’t help me at that time.
I managed to ‘fix’ the problem by pressing F8 at boot time before the Windows loading screen and selecting the last working system restore point (which, remember, does not touch your personal files but you will see a lost few settings, for instance my Opera browser seemed to think it just installed) which did the trick.
The annoying program was still there though even though my computer was fine. But seeing as it hadn’t fully realised itself on my disk, I binned the folder and desktop icon (first I killed the running Agent.exe via Task Manager) and on a second reboot I’m still okay.
An hour later, as promised, i-sure support called and I explained I’d got my computer usable again and found the culprit may be Barclays last offer…Kaspersky. This particular firewall was noted as being installed in someone else who phoned them with my problem so it could be the issue.
I myself am a bit wary to try i-sure again at this moment, but I don’t want to dissuade other customers. Plus I imagine they’ll be working on a fix.
If you haven’t installed it already though, I would recommend you hesitate or do two things first: a) Create a system resore point just before installing, b) disable Kaspersky firewall temporarily.
The other odd thing though was when I tried to login via the site my username and password weren’t seen as valid. I was told this would be reset, but I have a small tolerance threshold and won’t be trying the service myself any time too soon. It’s ironic that a service meant to safeguard my computer did the exact opposite. But let me state I don’t believe i-sure to be a horrible company, Barclays wouldn’t have partnered with them if that was the case, it’s just the misfortune that their software doesn’t seem safe to use for many people yet.