This weekend while surfing on the net I got a computer virus called Virus Remover 2008. Now, I’m no slouch in the computer department. I didn’t click on any pop up or e-mail attachment or even get tricked into accessing a website that was up for the sole purpose of downloading malicious software to my computer.
I’m also not a total computer geek; so, removing this particular virus is not going to be the easiest although I’ve gotten some advice from the IT guy at work. I’ve had a virus before and ended up wiping my computer clean and reinstalling windows. This particular move, one which is fairly easy and doesn’t really require advanced computer savviness saved me a few hundred dollars, which I then spent on an external hard drive I use to back up the things that are important to me: photos, music files, documents. The irreplaceable stuff.
So, while this virus is annoying and will motivate me to reconfigure my security protocols, my most important data is safe.
Why am I telling you all of this? Well, with precaution comes relaxation and because I’m not stressing out over my computer being down, I’ve had time to think about the nature of these viruses and wonder just who is creating them and why.
Creators of malicious software whether they are doing it for profit or just because they can are unique criminals because their crimes are so widespread, effecting enormous numbers of people; yet, they are sitting at a desk somewhere completely removed fromthe reality of their crime. I imagine some of them trudge off to work as we do, except they spend their day writing code that will steal your personal data or trick you into buying “anti virus software” to remove the virus they installed in the first place.
Being removed from the consequences of your actions allows for so much leeway in what you will and won’t do. How many of these malicious programmers would stick a gun in your face and take 250 dollars out of your pocket or break into your house and steal your personal identity information? Probably not many of them…though perhaps a few.
It’s important to see how our actions here and now effect others now and later.
So, I will clean up my computer and file away two little lessons: the precautionary work I did of backing up my hard drive has really paid off and I’m going to remember that the actions I take each day in my life have ripple effects all around me in ways that I may never even see.