helen-louise (baratron) wrote,

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1000 pieces of malware, hanging on the wall

OK, so I'm not completely un-geeky. Today I finally got sick of the computer at work that's been running at the speed of treacle, and took an hour out of my life to fix it. It was absolutely infested with viruses and spyware. I deleted over 1000 of them! Computers with 1000 pieces of malware really don't run at their optimal speed.

The problem with that computer is that the students have access to it, including some quite young kids. And they'll download "games" and "screensavers" that come with 101 nasties attached. And then people find they have malware and download one of these "malware fixing" programs that is actually itself malware. Those things drive me insane. I feel like it shouldn't take any common sense to realise that they're dubious - a program that will supposedly scan your hard drive for free, but won't fix anything until you register it? "O hai, I upgraded ur hard drive. U have 1234 malwarez. Pay me $25 munniez 2 fix it." - is that not a huge red flag? But people are so scared & confused about how computers work, they don't realise the inherent contradiction. Legitimate anti-malware programs recognise that we all have a vested interest in keeping other people's systems clean because it helps to keep our systems clean. The more networked computers that are sitting there full of crap, the more crap is going to get transferred to my computer, and the more work my bug blatter has to do. Meh.

Anyway, I spent an hour of my life doing that, and got called a "genius". (I think it helped that I used Spybot - Search and Destroy, which has an easy to find language changer (so I could run the program in English then switch it to Korean for the people whose computer it is)). Though I now feel slightly guilty, because they were so, so grateful to me for cleaning up the computer - but the main reason I did it was because I'd been forced to use that computer to look at a student's coursework, and it had been driving me nuts with its extreme slowness. There must be a word for that - guiltiness due to being praised for doing something which you did primarily for selfish reasons? Hmmm.
Tags: thoughts, work, yes i'm a geek

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