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RE: Is there anything that actually gets users to fix theircomputers?
At 8:02 PM -0400 10/3/03, Terry Baranski wrote:
I've played the user-notification game myself in fighting hoaxes (do a search on email@example.com sometime--and consider what happens when tens of thousands of people add it to their address book and then forward the latest joke/hoax/virus to everyone in their address book). I used to send auto-replies debunking the hoax--but then they'd report them as spam to their ISP, and their ISP would block my domain. Others would just delete them. Often the only way to get their attention was to send mail to everyone they'd cc'd, and ask *them* to contact the offender.Obviously, this is by no means specific to computer patching. People are either "busy", lazy, apathetic, etc. Most don't pay attention until
There is no question that people don't understand their computers. It's all magic to them. The idea that the energizer bunny will appear on their screen when they send mail to five friends is no less likely than the idea that dropping a file on their email icon will bring up a compose window.
But in fairness to the users, this isn't all their fault. They've been told right and left not to open mail from strangers (a completely bogus concept, given that viruses tend to come from friends). What I found was that they take that quite literally. Mail from mailer-daemon (now there's a scary name), mail from postmaster, mail from anybody they don't personally know; gets deleted. And that includes mail from their ISP. They can't tell spam from purchase receipts from viruses from fake warnings from legitimate warnings. Consider the latest "microsoft patch" virus. That was a professional looking job. Do you really expect the user to know not to open that, but to know that the notification from their ISP about their machine being infected is legit?
They either need to be contacted out of band, or their email software needs to support a secure channel of communications that they can really trust.
http://www.messagefire.com/ Next Generation Spam Defense
http://commons.somewhere.com/buzz/ Writings on Technology and Society
I'm not sure which upsets me more: that people are so unwilling to accept
responsibility for their own actions, or that they are so eager to regulate