I’ve been in IT for over 30 years and started as a developer back in the old Cobol days (and if that doesn’t date me….), so my wife’s family think I know what I’m talking about and understand the intricacies of all computers and technology.
So every time I visit her parents, a moment will occur when someone subtly (!) drops the latest computer mystery into the conversation and its roll-up your sleeves time and debug my mother-in-law’s computer.
I’ve had botnets, trojans, IE virtually unusable because its got 10 toolbars, 6 browsers on the desktop (some in foreign languages), strange home pages – the lot.
And my constant question: why did you download this? and the constant answer? I didn’t!
And she believes it. She doesn’t understand the technology, she believes in the goodness of the computer and when it asks “do you want to …” she thinks its polite to say yes, even when she does not know what that “yes” means. So her computer gets populated with a load of rubbish – and worse.
A recent Microsoft blog shows that 1 in 14 program downloads are malicious http://blogs.msdn.com/b/ie/archive/2011/05/17/smartscreen-174-application-reputation-in-ie9.aspx and that downloads are becoming a vector of choice as browsers become more robust, patching better, security is better developed inside software and potential exploits are reducing.
So what can we do? Guidance recently surveyed the user community and found a singular lack of IT security training and we must do more there – its the only real way forward as insider threats begin to dominate.
Would that help my mother-in-law? what do you think!