The online home for Greg Leedberg, since 1995.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Viruses are bad for everyone

Aaarrgh. I hate computer viruses. I don't even get infected with viruses, but once in a while one still manages to annoy me.

Rant mode on.

The first time I checked my e-mail yesterday, I had over 200 new messages in my inboxes for my two accounts. Every single one was very obviously a virus e-mail (subjects like "Re: Application" and "Re: Details"). Every. Single. One.

I jumped over to Slashdot and found this article about the SoBig.F virus which has been dormant and just activated itself, causing thousands of computers all over the world to send the virus to people in their address book.

Which, in many cases, includes me. That's the problem with having a public e-mail address. Over the course of having websites and releasing software, received tons of e-mail from tons of people -- which I enjoy, in all honesty. However, since most e-mail clients save address that you send mail to, that puts my address unforutnately into many people's address books. Generally, I don't mind. Until they get a virus which gets sent to me. By the hundreds.

Not that I actually get infected with the virus. Most of the time, I run Linux. When I have to be in Windows, I never touch Outlook (the source of most viruses, instead I use Mozilla Mail). And I'm behind a heavy duty firewall and have Norton running with up-to-date defintions just in case. I haven't gotten a virus in over 4 years (and that time it was before I had stoppped using Outlook).

But even if I don't get the virus, I might as well have, considering how annoying it is to have your inbox flooded with hundreds of virus e-mails. My spam detection filters some of them, but many get through, and I can't just mass-deleted everything because I often get important e-mails.

This doesn't happen often, but it shouldn't happen at all. My advice to the world: Stop using Outlook, for the sake of everyone.

Rant mode off.