idiocy has no lowest low

as demonstrated by the not one, but two students in my algorithms course who don't use any AV or firewalls whatsofuckingever on their Windows XP boxes. one of them refuses because Norton slows down his games (and apparently Norton is the only damn AV suite out there), and the other told me nonchalantly

"Oh, it's OK, I just wait until it gets really bad and then reinstall the operating system."
i can't believe i gotta do this, cause it's like having to give sex ed classes to nineteen-year-olds - in fact some of them are older than that - but here's the reasons why yeah, you do have to run AV:

1. you protect your data: i believe the American for that is duh. especially in university, where losing all your work will fuck you over good and proper, this should be one of your first priorities.

2. you also protect a hell of a lot more, because when you're at least moderately AV'd, you don't get drawn into botnets: that is, you don't fall to 10% of your system's capacity because your machine is running a DDoS attack on some Russian's ex, you don't get arrested for data fraud your compromised machine committed or the pr0n server you had no idea it had become, you don't suddenly find your hard drives the playground of a gang of twenty 1337-speaking SubSeven fans... you see where i'm going here.

3. your identity is a small margin safer when it's not at risk of being grabbed by trojans. that is, your identity which comprises access to your entire private life, your home, your finances, your job and employment history... yeah.

4. your browser history is shielded from cookie-spy trojans, which in turn means you're getting less spam, less ad downloaders, and therefore, you're less likely to get scammed or infected secondarily.

5. AV can also protect you from rogue P2P nodes, meaning you've got less of a chance of getting your ass RIAA'd.

6. your system is more under your control, making it a hell of a lot easier both to trace and retaliate against genuine attacks (rather than virus damage), and to see where memory is leaking - if there are virii loose all over the shop, you've got pretty much no chance of speeding the system up or getting any kind of security. without security apps, you're basically operating in a warzone that could just as easily be a comfortable living room.

7. you're not just endangering your own machine: if you're on my network with no AV, you're essentially a huge, neon-lit gateway to everything else that's on there, unsuspecting, thinking it's safe. one unprotected host compromises the entire net, making the damage inflicted by a virus on the net 100% your fault, and the costs of repair your liability.

all of that is a shorthand for the question why the fuck? having no antivirus is just as stupid as not using condoms, or refusing to lock your apartment door because you've never been robbed before. amazingly, however, the offenders know all this and still haven't done shit about it.

i'm debating whether it's justifiable to isolate their machines and hit them with something nasty just to spank them into submission. idiocy really does have no lowest low.



The Sumerian said...

If virus plural is virii, can I write penis plural as penii?

Not that I'm writing romantic novels or anything. Just wondering :P

Lepht said...

hell yeah (although for you to do that and not get crotch-kicked by your nearest Classics professor, you'd have to rename it the "penus".)

i see anyone use the plural in an essay like that, i'm giving them an A for inventiveness at least.