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Last year, I met with a prominent journalist who I respect, and he let on to me that some Microsoft execs had been telling him that they don’t run antivirus because Vista is so secure.

Oh really? Hmm… Give me Steve Ballmer’s email address… I could have fun with this.

The idea that you can’t run security software just because you’re running Vista is flat out wrong.

So no offense to the writer, but here’s an article that really needs a retraction:

• Turn off Vista’s overly protective User Account Control. Those pop-ups are like having your mother hover over your shoulder while you work.

• Uninstall your anti-virus software. I’m serious. Symantec Norton 360 spent so much time trying to protect me from problems I don’t have that it dragged my Toshiba’s performance to a crawl. So I uninstalled it. Instant speed boost.

Surprisingly, the article didn’t get much attention when it came out last week, except for some mentions (like this ComputerWorld blog post). Unfortunately, it’s now spreading through syndication.

But really — this is just terrible and dangerous advice.

If you’re fed-up with the bloat of your AV product, get a leaner one. I make one. And there are others as well.

Want reasonable performance tips? I posted some similar advice a couple of years ago on optimizing the performance of your PC, and this LifeHacker article from a while back debunks some common performance myths.

But no way — no way — should you not be running an antivirus product. This is not my self interest speaking, as I’ve blogged about free tools you can use.

It’s just a simple fact.

Alex Eckelberry