Thursday, August 25, 2005

Close to Nowhere
By Linda Jones

Computer geeks and spyware

I have come to seriously dislike those people who think it’s a game or funny or whatever to distribute spyware to the general public!

Our Macintoshs here at work are just about impervious to spyware and viruses — they can and do get the odd occasional spyware or virus, but it’s rare. Something about a different type of platform to cross (don’t ask me, I don’t speak computer geek language).

PCs, on the other hand, are prone to spyware and viruses. I have a fairly newish one at home (about two years old, which in terms of computer “stuff” is old and in terms of me spending money buying one is new). My PC at home just loves spyware! I think whenever I go on the Internet, it goes out by itself looking for spyware, not just sitting there waiting on it to come bopping by.

Several months ago, the spyware on my computer had gotten so bad, almost overnight, that my computer geek son had to do a complete disk rebuild (which is similar to formatting the hard drive I believe).

For about a week, my computer was just fine — then — there it was again. And one of the funny things is that sometimes, the spyware is porn. To my knowledge, my computer has never visited a porn site before. Like I said though, I’m not sure what it goes looking for when it goes out alone.

Binkster, my oldest granddaughter, is always the first one to notice when the folder pops up on my desktop with XXX written underneath it — and oddly enough, she thinks the blonde lady smirking in the icon is pretty. Go figure.

As hard as my son has tried, he can’t get that icon and associated spyware program to completely leave my computer.

He spends hours on his computer, searching the Internet, for solutions to my spyware problem. Does he have a problem with spyware? No, of course not.

My computer becomes infested at least once a week. Computer geek son will clean and run programs and install stuff and it’ll be fine and then - pop — there’s my blonde XXX lady again.

My former son-in-law, who is a paid computer geek and quite good at it, has also sent programs, etc. to help clean and protect my computer. As, among other things, he builds websites and sells computer “stuff” he’s on the Internet frequently. He doesn’t have the spyware problems I have either.

And the stuff he sends doesn’t work any better than the stuff my other computer geek finds and installs.

Monday morning, my blonde XXX lady was back. So were several other “Trojan” type icons.

And I keep promising my son the only Internet sites I visit are associated with quilting and/or books.

I wonder if the blonde lady quilts?

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