Thursday, August 2, 2007

Computer Virus Rant

My husband has worked with computers for over 20 years. As a result, we have adopted many "sick" computers over the years and he's revamped them for us to use. Until recently, we had boxes of floppy drives, hard drives, and other computer innards in our basement. We've even had Commodore 64 computers. Now, we have about 4 desktop computers in the same room so multiple children can access the computers when they all get home from school and "have to use a computer right this minute for homework." These computers are all networked, as are a couple of laptops, so we can all use the printer and access the internet at the same time.

We have installed software to safeguard our children from the internet and regularly monitor the internet in person. My husband has a report delivered to his computer at home and at work that details all the internet sites that have been accessed. We have also installed a virus program and update it regularly to ensure that our privacy and our computers are protected. We're pretty diligent in monitoring our computers.

Even with all of this in place, and my husband knowing all of the current viruses, we got hit with a nasty virus last week. It was such a nasty one, in fact, that we had to shut down all of the computers and clean them.

We block pop-ups and last week, what seemed to be all of a sudden, pop-ups started hitting our main computer every few seconds and not just advertisements, but also pornography. Not only did we get hit with these horrendous photos, but this particular virus wormed its way into our computer and disabled our virus software so the "newly installed" software could search for any and all personal information. My only defense, until my husband arrived home, was to unplug the computers.

I felt violated because we'd tried to be so careful with the internet and so sensitive to the trashy side of what's out there and, yet, there it was right in my home, on my screen. How dare someone force porno on us!

This made me wonder about the kind of people who produce computer viruses. (I won't even get into what I think about the kind of people who produce pornography). I just don't get it. How can infecting someone's computer bring satisfaction? I don't understand why someone would want to infect computers and cause havoc. What motivates someone to do that? Why are there those who derive joy from inflicting pain on others?

Thankfully, none of our programs or files were corrupted. We couldn't access the internet or print documents for several days, but we eventually purged our network of the virus. How sad that people choose to waste their potential by causing damage instead of using their intelligence and talent for doing good.

Computers, and the internet, can be wonderful tools. We just have to keep in mind that there are people out there who will use these tools against us (right, Josi?).


Karlene said...

I use a Mac, which are much less susceptible to viruses. I got a bad one about two years ago, but that's the only one I've had in the 16 years that I've been using computers.

My PC however is another story. I pick up a virus a couple of times a year. One time I got about 20 e-mails from a business associate, all invitations to join various porn sites. It was a virus on his machine that sent those messages to everyone in his address book. Yuk. Fortunately, I could tell they were junk from the subject line and didn't open any of the e-mails or I would have had the virus too.

And I do believe that there is a special hell just for computer predators--hackers, virus creators, and those that go after our children.

Tristi Pinkston said...

I just hate anything going wrong with computers, but viruses and porn spam have to be the two worst. I agree with Karlene -- the people who send them are gonna burn.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

A computer is one of the greatest technology the Lord has provided us for sharing knowledge and the gospel. Because it does so much good, it is a given that other who do not know or understand the Lord and His purposes will do all they can to do cause destruction, damage and chaos to the mind and spirit.

Sad, but so very true.