Internet Self-Defense: Why should I care?

“I don’t do banking or anything serious on my computer, I don’t care if it gets infected.”

I don’t hear that much any more but some people still don’t get it.

But what’s the worst that can happen?

  • Your computer will run very, very, very slow.
  • Your computer will crash and you’ll have to call someone like me. I’ll take it away and a couple hundred bucks later you’ll be back up and running.
  • Your Facebook account will be hacked. All of your friends will get messages telling them to “watch this embarrassing movie of me! LOL!” and when they click the link their computers will all start running very, very, very slowly…and they’ll call me and spend a couple hundred bucks getting their computers back.
  • Your email will be hacked. All of your personal messages will be read by someone who does not have your best interest at heart.
  • You’ll forget one day and buy something online. There goes your credit card number to someone in Romania.
  • You’ll forget another day and go to your bank’s website. Oops. There goes a couple grand. Hopefully you only have a personal account, so you’ll get it all back.
  • So at some point you’ll need to change all of your passwords, document the fraud that has taken place, and cancel out the accounts that were fraudulently created in your name.

A couple days of your time, a few hundred bucks, and you should be back in decent shape. Who else are you affecting?

  • Your friends who get the facebook and e-mail spam that turns their computers to mush
  • The 5,000 other users who get spammed when your computer starts scanning and sending crud all over the world
  • The company your new Russian friends don’t like…so they command your PC to crash their web site

There’s more to the equation than your computer’s health. There’s more to it than your time, trouble, and money.

It’s time for people to be good citizens and take care of their computers.

Next time: how does this crap get on my computer?

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