My spin: For those MANY humans who are not computer experts and might just click on a virus for example (while most very savvy users would not) or not know about computers – should geeks or very savvy computer users have compassion on them?
I’ve been using computers for over 15 years and consider myself a 100% geek. One of the computer, “very literate”. However I know that MOST people do not know that much about computers and do need my help and compassion. Not my sneering at them for not know as much as I do.
NY Times: When Scott Granneman, a technology instructor, heard that one of his former students had clicked on a strange e-mail attachment and infected her computer with the MyDoom Internet virus last week, empathy did not figure anywhere in his immediate response.
“You actually got infected by the virus?” he wrote in an e-mail message to the former student, Robin Woltman, a university grant administrator. “You, Robin? For shame!”
As MyDoom, the fastest-spreading virus ever, continues to clog e-mail in-boxes and disrupt business, the computer-savvy are becoming openly hostile toward the not-so-savvy who unwittingly play into the hands of virus writers.
The tension over the MyDoom virus underscores a growing friction between technophiles and what they see as a breed of technophobes who want to enjoy the benefits of digital technology without making the effort to use it responsibly.
The virus spreads when Internet users ignore a basic rule of Internet life: never click on an unknown e-mail attachment. Once someone does, MyDoom begins to send itself to the names in that person’s e-mail address book. If no one opened the attachment, the virus’s destructive power would never be unleashed.
“It takes affirmative action on the part of the clueless user to become infected,” wrote Scott Bowling, president of the World Wide Web Artists Consortium, expressing frustration on the group’s discussion forum. “How to beat this into these people’s heads?” (full story)
Workers testing antivirus programs at McAfee in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Perhaps the one thing that technophobes and technophiles can agree on is that software companies like Microsoft should make things easier and more secure for all kinds of computer users. But Microsoft, whose Web site has so far withstood a continuing attack by the MyDoom virus, had a reminder for users, too.
“Responsibility is shared,” said Scott Charney, Microsoft’s chief security strategist. “With some of these viruses that require user action, people have a responsibility to be careful and protect themselves.”
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