i've been counting down since last Dec 26 ... are you ready? me neither!!

Monday, September 17, 2007

what i have learned ...

My Christmas of 2004 was this computer ... I say 'my' because: Andy had a laptop for work + our home computer was obsolete and old = I get a new one!
So ... fast forward to just last week. My computer had been getting slower and slower and totally annoyingly slow that I was spending more and more time sitting and waiting and less time acutally getting stuff done. Then it started to pop up crazy advertisements and pictures - aaaaah! I tried to close them and more popped up and I had to shut it off ... when I tried to bring it back up I had a desktop with no icons - you need icons if you want to do anything ... this was a problem. I called my personal computer genius' wife (who happens to be one of my best friends) and asked if I could bring my computer over to have him take a look at it. She said she'd ask him for formality sake but to go ahead and bring it over. So Thursday last week I showed up on their doorstep with my box in hand.
He hooked it up to their moniter and started going to town ... I was there until about 1AM and he said that it was going to take a while to download the 77 crucial windows updates that somehow I had missed over the 2+ years that I had not ever downloaded updates ...
Long story short - after MANY hours of manual search and destroy, he killed about 30 viruses on my computer. Some of which were 'trojan' type that allowed other people to watch my keystrokes and -if they wanted to- use my computer to do their bidding!! Bad, very bad!!

Now to what I have learned:
1) DO NOT OPEN ATTACHMENTS that people send to you! - even if your friends send them to you ... you don't know where they came from or what terrible people may have started them! also ... if you want to look at the pictures that someone sends as an attachment, ask them to make them embedded in the text of the email or upload to a reputable picture sharing site (such as Costco, Snapfish, Picasa, etc.) and send a link to the album.
2) DO NOT DOWNLOAD STUFF OFF THE INTERNET - unless it's from a reputable company like Google, Microsoft, etc.
4) DO NOT DOWNLOAD ACTIVEX whatever it is ... unless it's from a reputable company - if you don't know who the company is you don't need to view whatever it is that they're trying to send you!
5) DO NOT CLICK ON A LINK in an IM message unless you know exactly where it will take you - even if it is sent to you by a friend.
6) REGULARLY CHECK FOR UPDATES your computer should do this for you ... if you have it set up to do it ... but even still ... it's always a good idea!
7) WHEN IN DOUBT - don't ... (or call the computer genius and ask!!)

I put my hand to the square and swore an oath to follow the above guidelines. May we all take a lesson from my BIG UGLY MONSTER mistake and watch out for the BigBadAwfulNasty people that are out to get our computers to take over the world! (k, that's a little extreme ... but you know what I mean!)

I better give credit where credit is due ... Travis Wright is the computer genius - (he actually does work for Microsoft and knows more than the average computer genius about computers and most anything really) and his lovely wife Nicki shares his brains and time with us - she's the best! (ps- Travis is the one flexing his big ol' muscles in the pictures below!)


Travis Wright said...

Amen! I have to say it was kind of fun rooting out all those viruses with cool tools like Avenger, HackThis, ComboFix, etc. It took my geekiness to a new level {pushes up glasses}. :) I'll only fix somebody's computer from viruses once. After that it's your job to keep your computer safe - with Windows Update, Windows Defender, Windows Firewall, Outlook Junk EMail filtering, popup blocker in IE, phishing filter in IE, etc. there is no reason for anybody to not be safe on the Internet. Assume that everybody, even your friends and credible companies are your enemy on the web. Friends are your enemy because they send you viruses unknowngly and phishers can appear to look like credible companies - so watch out!

travis wright said...

One other factoid to think about - Microsoft pays me about $100/hour to work for them. I worked on Emily's computer for between 5-6 hours. That's $500-600 dollars if she were paying me (which she wasnt obviously cuz she's lucky to have a friend like me :) ) It would be cheaper to go to dell.com and buy a brand new Windows Vista computer than to pay somebody like me to fix your computer. Don't abuse your computer! :)

Super Angie said...

Oh my goodness...please don't tell me you are one of those people who clicks on the link in an email that says, "friend has sent you a e-greeting card. Click this link to see it". AHHHH..

You are very lucky to have Travis there and that he didn't charge you! OUCH! :)

Nicki said...

I'm so glad my geek, er, um husband was able to help you with this. It's NO fun to be without a computer. It always shocks me to realize how dependant I am on the internet!

Amy said...

Good lessons Emily! I'm lucky to have a "geek" for a husband, so we are pretty "clean" when it comes to the computer. However, due to Matt's design background, we are getting a Mac (Sorry Travis). Matt says I will convert.... I'm skeptical.

(P.S. It's still crazy to me that you guys hang-out with the Wrights. I once knew Travis a L-O-N-G time ago. OLD 5th ward days... before Harbor Point... OV days... hahaha!)