From "ignorance is bliss" to "surprise attack and disaster" - how many thousands of Internet users have experienced this frustration and grief?
This raises the obvious question: "Why haven't they prepared to avoid it?"
The startling fact is that there are many long term Internet users who have never even considered updating their Operating Systems and protective Safe-ware.
Perhaps the complexity of it all contributes to what might be described as User apathy - or indifference and a lack of enthusiasm toward the following:
* The news of yet another vulnerability or patch process.
* The potential damage to computer, personal information and reputation - i.e. the "It can't happen to me" attitude.
* Their own abilities - i.e. "I'm too old, too dumb, too whatever - to learn how to fix a computer without breaking something."
* Updating - i.e. "My computer came with an anti-virus program, so why does it need to be updated now?"
The sad fact is that the lack of confidence people have in their ability to build a defense often leads to a reluctance to even accept the reality of Cyber Threats.
Some of the lesser-experienced Internet users rationalize their lack of action with pessimism, even defeatism. Human nature often supports these excuses with defensive attitudes and mis-beliefs like:
* False sense of disaster support - "My nephew, neighbor, son or whoever, is a computer whizz. They'll be able to fix the problem if anything ever happens."
* Scepticism - "All this talk about viruses is just so the "news people" will have information for publishing, and so the software manufacturers can scare people into buying more of their products."
* Ignorance (of the extent of deception, skills and sophistication that the malicious hackers have attained).
* Disbelief (that personal computer might be infected and used by others to spread malicious viruses and worms). "My computer seems to be working ok - a little slow, maybe, but it is getting pretty old."
* Overwhemed (too many choices with firewalls, anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware, Trojan removers). "Why do I need all of these and which ones should I use?" or "Do I really need to update my Operating System, my antivirus, spam, spyware stuff?"...I'll just never learn how to do all of this.
* Expense (How much will all this cost and is it really necessary?)
* Fatalism - "Hey, if it's going to happen, it will, and I'll just junk my computer and get another one. Mine's getting kind of old, anyway."
Here, then, are the Shocking facts about updating PC Operating Systems.
There are many unaware Internet users who have been online for years, but lack in these Ares:
* They don't know what "Updating" really means.
* They have never responded to the popup message associated with the icon in the Task tray that announces new Windows Updates.
* They have never clicked on the Windows Update icon in the Program Start menu.
* They have never visited the Microsoft Windows Update web page at http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
* They have never updated their PC Operating Systems.
Even if they have been able to navigate to the Microsoft Update webpage, many just throw up their hands in despair at the overwhelming number of choices and unknowns, such as:
* Choosing what to update from the long list of options.
* Waiting for Windows to check the registry for available updates.
* Deciphering the Update descriptions (and instructions).
* Selecting or removing the necessary options.
* Starting the download.
And oftentimes, many people have never even used the Windows Help information to find out how to update their computer Operating Systems.
How many self taught or untrained computer users are going to persevere through all of the hassle described above? Is it any wonder so many computers become infected? The criminal Hackers building their boot and zombie armies have nearly an open and undefended playing field; many are using it every day to steal money and identities.
So, what is the solution to this problem?
If individuals with computer "understanding" would help and assist others with less knowledge, there would probably be less of a problem.
Nearly everyone who has faithfully kept their PC Operating Systems and Safe-ware up to date surely has family members and friends who could benefit from an hour or so of basic instructions. This would make it much more difficult for the criminal Hackers to compromise another person’s computer.
Hacker's would eventually be faced with a growing number of adequately protected computers, educated Users and hopefully would finally give-up try!