“So, I’ve loaded up on security software that I’ve paid $xxx for, and now I’ve got a Virus! Why? Isn’t N***n and M***ee supposed to protect me? What the %#$^&?”
Well, I hate to break this to you, but it might be your own fault. Using security software without using your head is akin to driving like a maniac because you’ve got airbags to protect you, or leaving your front door unlocked because you’ve got a security system to tell you when someone enters. (I love those talking security systems. Why can’t they say something useful, like “Ax Murderer”, or “Mooching Brother-in-Law”, instead of just “Front Door”?)
Your first line of defense in any life situation is your wetware, not your software. I’m talking about your brain, which, although it’s 90% water, is the most amazing computer in all of Creation. God gave it to you, and He expects you to use it.
The problem, of course, is we have emotions as well as logic. When we get an email telling us we just won the Nigerian Lottery, sometimes Greed takes over and short-circuits our common sense. A message that seems to be from the FBI plays on Guilt and Fear.
Those Little Gray Cells, as Agatha Christie’s Poirot likes to call them, are your first layer of defense.
- If you get a popup saying you just won an iPad, you didn’t.
- If you get an email saying your bank is going to close your account, it won’t. (Unless you have been doing something very bad!)
- If your computer tells you it’s been locked by the FBI, it hasn’t. (Not by the FBI, anyway. You’ve let in a Bad Guy.)
- If your identity has been stolen, it may be because you’ve responded to one of the above scams, or any of the other 10 million variations.
- If something doesn’t look normal, it might not be.
- Finally, if it’s too good to be true, it isn’t! (True, that is.)
Think before you click. If you’re installing software, ask yourself if you really, really need it, or if it’s just playing on your Greed or Fear. Read things carefully when you are installing stuff. Read the EULA (End User License Agreement), Very carefully. Look for checkboxes that are pre-checked, allowing additional installations you probably don’t need or want. Look for grammar and spelling errors in emails that purport to come from official sources. Take the time to pay attention, just as you do when you’re driving. You might save yourself a lot of pain, frustration, reputation, and maybe even money.