Giving "Casuals" the Virus-Metric

Doran L. Barton fozz at
Sun Feb 8 14:57:46 MST 2009

Daniel C. wrote:
> I'd like to put together a short article or white paper that will give
> casual computer users the tools to tell what's going to mess up their
> system and what isn't.  The problem is that, while I can tell what's
> dodgy and what isn't, I don't know how I can tell.  Can anyone here
> help me out with this?

This is a big mountain to climb. One of the hardest things, it seems, to
teach the lay Windows user is to take control over changes to the
registry. SpyBot's TeaTimer does a pretty good job of letting you know
"Hey, something is trying to make a change to the Windows registry! Do
you want to allow it or deny it?" The problem, however, is that most
users click "Allow" without thinking because this notification dialog
is, in their mind, just another hurdle they must jump over to use their

If users paid more attention to these dialogs, most of the malware
infections would cease, IMO.

Doran L. "Fozz" Barton <fozz at>
Open-source developer, sysadmin, consultant, and all-around geeky dude
 "Auto Repair Service. Free Pick-up and delivery.  Try us once, you'll
  never go anywhere again."
    -- Classified ad in newspaper

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