turante: (shoe porn)
[personal profile] turante
Careful, the following might be mildly insulting and/or repetitive in points.
This is what I'd like to say every time someone asks me for computer advice, and or calls panicking for help (luckily, it doesn't happen often).

The foolproof guide to a virus-free computer:

1) Opt for Linux as your operating system.

2) If you (think you)'re incapable of installing it, ask a friend who is a little more computer savvy to install you the more user-friendly version of Ubuntu on your pc.

3) If you don't feel up to the task or occasionally still want to use your Windows partition (for gaming, I suppose) because you find Windows emulators baffling or inefficient, I did warn you, though. Fine, but treat the following rules as Gospel. No, actually, more than Gospel. And remember, I DID warn you.

4) Do not use Windows to browse the internet.

5) If you do, make sure you have an antivirus software nice and ALWAYS up to date. There are a few free and perfectly functioning softwares like Avast! and Avira AntiVir (links are to the software manufacturer's official websites).

6) Use your judgement when opening mails and attachments especially. If the header is all in caps lock, advertises free drugs/penis enlargement/naked pictures/lottery winning/problems with your bank account/welcome bonus to a web casino: don't even bother to open the mail. It's an attempt at phishing (=trying to get your data by redirecting you to a website that looks like the original one but instead of making you access the service you want takes the personal information you type and saves it to scam you).

7) If you open the e-mail anyway, and the content is only a few sentences in broken

8) You clicked, didn't you? Well, now close the web browser (=Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Netscape, Opera) as soon as you can. If you can't locate the X button, or it WON'T work, hold down the Alt and the F4 buttons at the same time.
Remember: Alt+F4 kills the current program, Ctrl+F4 kills an open window INSIDE a program (=the current tab in Chrome). While using Windows these combinations and Ctrl+Shift+Esc - which opens the Task Manager - may very well save your sanity.

9) Use your judgement when reading your e-mail inbox when receiving mail from EVERY contact, no matter how long you've known them or how closely you're related by blood; each of your personal contact may have a virus on their computer that automatically sends to their entire contact list a copy of the virus. So be cautious even with photos of family vacations.

10) Never download an .exe file from a file sharing program (eMule, Bittorrent...)

11) Never download a .zip or .rar file, either.

12) If the file you downloaded gives you instructions like: "go to WWW. SOMETHING. COM for the password" DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK. Delete the file.

13) Always scan files you download from the internet with your antivirus software. It should be automatically be set to scan files before saving them to your hard disk. If not, or if you're feeling especially paranoid, right-click on the file and select the 'Scan with XXX' option from the menu. (XXX=name of your antivirus)

14) If your antivirus prevents you from opening a file because it feels it might be infected, don't try to defy it. The antivirus knows better. It MAY, EXTREMELY RARELY be wrong, because it errs on the safe side. Remember: better to be safe than sorry. Try to scan the file after a few days (and several updating of your antivirus), if the file was NOT infected but only looked like a virus, the mistake has probably been corrected and the antivirus will not recognize it as a menace anymore, otherwise, just follow what the antivirus suggests to do with it (namely: send to quarantine or delete).

One final thing: please, please, please, do not forward chain mail. No one is ever going to shut down facebook, twitter, myspace, google, the internet. No one that needs urgent and extremely expensive surgery or transplant will need a chain mail to get money/media coverage/support. No wish has ever been granted by sending a mail to anyone, no bad luck has ever occurred to those who haven't.
Trust me, I have NEVER felt the need to junk up my friends and family's mailboxes and no truck has ever rode over me, no flowerpot has ever fallen on my head, I have found my soul mate nonetheless and am fairly happy.
If you feel that *gasp* you absolutely must forward the chain mail anyway, please keep me out of the list of people you forward them to.
So, if you send out one more *sEnD a HuG tO ThOsE yOu LoVe AnD sEe WhO lOvEs YoU bACk!!!?!* mail/tweet/facebook message and don't see one from me, it doesn't mean I don't love you. If I haven't deleted your friendship/spammed you with a thousand 'Will you please stop spelling like a stupid, twilight-lover twelve-year-old!'/sent you a deadly virus and still talk to you it means I love you, a LOT. Enough to give you a plea for temporary insanity and sweep the offense under the carpet.
If I've blocked all form of digital contact from you, well, now you know exactly why. (Unless, of course, you have something else on your conscience. But still, you know why.)


Then it occurred to me, that Sherlock might have left a similar memo on the lab's computers.
It would read like:

Sherlock's guide to a virus-free computer for the complete moron:

1) Format Hard disk. Install Linux.

2) If unable to perform either simple task, do not bother me. Ask the IT department[*]. Beg them. Try to bribe them with caffeine (sure method to ensure cooperation).

3) If still using bugged and ineffective Microsoft (c) OS, please do not complain to me but to manufacturer should problems arise (i.e. unexpected reboot, screen freezing, random error messages, etc.)

4) Do not use Internet Explorer (c) as default browser.

5) Install antivirus. Keep said updated.

6) Do not open e-mails with dubious attachments, links and promises of free samples/drugs/medicines/prizes/pictures etc.

7) Do not open e-mails from people, companies or establishments that have no business knowing your email address and/or should already have your personal information.

8) If on dubious website/operating dubious software terminate relative process.

9) Mistrust relatives and/or alleged friends sending you attachments of clearly malicious nature like family vacations photographic witness or kitties performing unexpected actions like falling into vases or rolling on their tummy and falling asleep.

10) Do not download potentially harmful files via file sharing programs/ftp connections. This includes file with the following extension: .exe .bat .zip .rar .7z .ppt .htm .html and aforementioned cat pictures and videos.

11) Do not blindly follow instructions written in .txt files beside the intended file and/or embedded in the video on a blank screen.

12) Configure antivirus to scan automatically downloaded files and periodically scan entire content of Hard Disk.

13) If antivirus says a file/website is infected, always assume it's right. Never doubt or try to second guess it. What the antivirus decides IS THE LAW.

14) Do not forward junk/chain mail unless ready to face deadly consequences.

15) DO NOT COMPLAIN. In case of dire necessity turn to assistance from IT department[*]. Endure reprimand. Beg forgiveness. Try to follow these rules and every addendum given by aforementioned IT department[*].

16) If unable to understand rules listed above, buy a dictionary. If ineffective, print and hand over to member of IT department[*] and ask him/her to "Please dumb it down for me".

[*] When referring to the IT department, always ask expressly for Jim.


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