(sub-title: Maybe they do it just to keep people who don’t know anything about computers off of the internet)
Two years-ish ago, I upgraded a computer for my sister. It consisted of taking a perfectly serviceable Pentium 300 (or thereabouts) and fitting it with a hard drive that wasn’t obscenely small, and putting on all the software that a girl needs to survive on a dial-up connection.
Way back then, the world wasn’t the cruel mean place that it is now, and so my attention to security wasn’t as refined as it would be now. I didn’t install a firewall, I didn’t install a non-Microsoft browser, and it would seem (though I can’t believe that I would make such an oversight) that I didn’t install an anti-virus program. I’m flabbergasted at myself.
Since then, she has been Internet Explorering until the cows come home. And the cows have turned out to be rather unpleasant, and quite fanatical.
She’s doing a lot better, and we may yet defeat this crisis yet. Mum’s over there at the moment, fighting back the floods. ZoneAlarm is holding out and Ad-aware has detected over 100 items of spyware. AVG wouldn’t install, so tomorrow she will (hopefully) have an anti-virus program.
I, however, am not confident. I suspect that this computer’s days are numbered.
I think that she’s the first person that I’ve ever known personally to actually have their computer brought to its knees by a virus. Well, excluding the landlord of a pub back in my parents’ village, who had the audacity to accuse me of being the source of his woes! “If you got that virus from me, ” I asked, “then how come my computer doesn’t have it?”
It’s a sad day when you have to harden home PC’s as well as you do servers.