It Looks Like You're Clicking On A Virus…

from the educating-people dept

With all of the discussions recently about how to stop spyware and viruses, and whether or not Microsoft should take some responsibility, it looks like Microsoft is trying to do something – but it may remind some users of elements of Microsoft that they would prefer remained hidden. Microsoft’s famed “Clippy” animated paperclip helper would pop up in Microsoft Office documents with suggestions like “It looks like you’re trying to write a letter…” and try to offer help or suggestions that most people simply found annoying and intrusive. Now, they’re taking a similar, if toned down, approach to security. They’re planning to use more pop-ups and dialog boxes to warn people about potential safe computing hazards as they go about their daily business. While it’s clear that some people do need to be educated, these pop-ups are likely to be seen as intrusive by more experienced computer users. Unless the system is configured to be very smart, such a system may not do much good. It will annoy power users, who will quickly turn it off (assuming that’s possible) and less savvy users are likely to start ignoring it if the pop-ups become too frequent. At the same time, it will also offer another opportunity for scammers to social engineer around those warning messages – or to create their own, similar, fake warning messages. It’s good to see Microsoft trying to educate people on the dangers, but it’s unclear how well this method will work.

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Comments on “It Looks Like You're Clicking On A Virus…”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Subject Given

I had a brief experience with Win 2003 Server. They’ve added a whole lot of nagging about security, but very little actual security. For example, every time you double-click an executable it pops up a dialog that says “this could be a virus”, rather than actually checking if it’s a virus.

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