Installation Anxiety…

Will It or Won’t It Destroy My Computer?… After the break…

Installation Anxiety…

Here’s a confession – I hate installing new programs onto my computer. Hate it. Despise it. I have grown so hesitant in installing new programs onto my computer that I only do so under those few delirious moments where I feel that performing such a deed is a good thing. Often, it is not.

Twice, today, my anti-virus software prevented me from installing a program. Twice… In one day. Both times, it told me that a virus was lurking around on the inside of those programs, just waiting to strike at my precious personal data (of which there is precious little because my trust in the Internet is nil to none). I’m not a computer science major; I’ll trust the people who dedicate their lives towards researching this stuff over my intuition.

Console people don’t have this type of problem. Everything, to them, is plug-and-play (or, more accurately, download-and-play nowadays).

We live in a world where most viruses aren’t outright malicious anymore. A lot of them just want your passwords and E-Mail addresses and to secretly mine bitcoins or be a part of some zombie-net (you know, where your computer is secretly taken over and given orders to participate in a denial-of-service attack without you even knowing it). There aren’t many viruses out there that wipe out data or flood your desktop with pr0n advertisements or anything like that. There’s no money in that.

I know that there’s the likelihood that the programs weren’t malicious and I merely received a “false-positive” instead, a completely innocent program that performed a few actions that annoyed the living heck out of my anti-virus program. I may investigate further into that possibility but, for now, I prefer to be cautious.

It makes you wonder, sometimes, what goes through the minds of people who write viruses. How do they justify harming other people whom they know nothing about? Why not put that knowledge to some legitimate use by writing helpful programs or tutoring others? If the reason is economic (as in, “You have more money than me and I am just taking some of what you will not likely miss”), why not get more involved in local politics and change the situation? Vote for politicians who are reform-minded. Move to a better part of the world where there are more opportunities.

I’ve always been cautious when installing programs but, starting a few years ago, such caution ramped itself up. I don’t store a lot of sensitive info on my computer anymore. My E-Mails aren’t all that embarrassing or revealing. I back up my personal projects on a regular basis (but probably not as often as I should).

There’s never going to beĀ  day when computer viruses are “defeated”; The people who write them will just find another way to infect your computer.

Between government spying (“We’re only interested in your meta-data!”), corporate spying (“It’s only for big data research, we assure you!”), malicious spying (“Click on this link so Nigerian prince can to send you $50,00 dollar!”)… Perhaps the only way to truly hide is to just join everything. Spam them back by overloading their system by viewing as many random websites as possible, joining as many random groups as possible, E-Mailing as many people as possible or tweeting to others as much as possible.

Of course, doing all of that would take up a lot of time… I’m sure someone could write a program to automate a lot of that busywork… A program that I would than have to install…

And so the cycle continues…

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