[LINK] Ponderings on the effects of computer viruses
Wed, 2 Oct 2002 17:19:42 +1000
> My experience is that the vast majority of users
> really don't have a clue about their computers.
I agree completely. I never claimed that most users have a clue about their
computers. What I said was that I believe most users are aware that viruses
exist, and have some understanding that a virus could cause real problems to
What's significant is that users are exposed to quite a lot of stories /
discussions about virueses, but this appears to have no effect on their
actions. The fact that they might lose their data clearly hasn't caused
them to change their actions and become more clueful (is that a word? :)
about their computers.
A commonly expressed view is that sooner or later people / businesses will
change their actions based on this threat of major systems problems due to
viruses. But viruses have been with us for quite a long time. If the "you
might lose your data" threat was going to make people change their actions,
I reckon it would have done so by now - I'm starting to think that if it
hasn't done so by now, it never will.
Hence my speculations on what sort of threat from a virus would make people
change their actions.
Effective Business Applications Pty Ltd
+61 4 1374 3959
From: Howard Lowndes [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Wednesday, 2 October 2002 6:46 AM
To: Mark Hughes
Cc: Link Institute
Subject: Re: [LINK] Ponderings on the effects of computer viruses
On Wed, 2 Oct 2002, Mark Hughes wrote:
> Hello Linkers,
> Many computer viruses don't do significant damage to systems they infect.
> But some do. I believe this is reasonably well understood by a
> proportion of Users who aren't IT professionals.
I cannot agree here. My experience is that the vast majority of users
really don't have a clue about their computers. I'm not only referring to
the casual domestic user here, but also to the regular business user,
perhaps more so the latter.
If you ask most office workers what opsys is running on their computer
that they use 9 to 5, my money says that most couldn't even name the
The media hype about viruses has made most ppl scared to use computers and
has conditioned them to accept regular reboots, re-installs, virus
corruptions as standard procedure. Once a user has a PC in front of them
they very rarely upgrade any of it until they replace it; in the larger
organisations this is part of the IT function admittedly.
The usual response I get from users who have copped a virus is "It
suddenly started acting funny, I haven't done anything"
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