baptism by fire

July 11th, 2005

Be advised the headline has nothing to do with this, I just wanted to use it. :D

Today we open with this story. A 38-year-old woman in our magnificent country was infected by a computer virus, which "wiped out everything". Pictures of her children, important files for work, "everything". She had never been infected before and one day the monitor went black, the computer wouldn't start and she was "forced to buy a new computer". (As if a reinstall wasn't good enough, she must have had some really good advice, probably from the store that sold it to her.) Of course, it came as a total shock, "I thought I had taken every precaution against a virus infection." Except for a backup, evidently. Which also happens to be *the* most effective one.

Now, what do you find novel about this story? Nothing at all, that's right. Incidentally, however, it was published on the frontpage of the biggest Norwegian paper today. VG sells the most copies countrywide and they also get the most hits on the website. Boo friggin hoo. :rolleyes: How many people experience a distructive virus infection everyday? Probably in the tens or the hundreds. So what makes this case so special, worthy of such impressive coverage? Not a goddamn thing.

The story continues. "Burnt by the infection, she has invested in anti virus software." "I also have two firewalls [ed. as if one wasn't enough :rolleyes:] and a special backup disk [kaching]".

The fact of the matter is, personal computer security is mammoth challenge to the average user. The only simple and effective way to stay safe is to deploy a firewall and to run a not-designed-for-infection-operating-system like Linux or MacOS X, but above all systematic backups. (For those enraged, I'm willing to modify that to not-designed-to-avoid-infection.)

:: random entries in this category ::

2 Responses to "baptism by fire"

  1. Erik says:

    Aahh come on, the 64 year old reporter didn't have any better stories and his generation doesn't know about these things. Cut him some slack :D

  2. numerodix says:

    I don't think so :D