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[ZDNet] Ed Bott: When I say 'virus,' you know exactly what I mean - Page 3

post #21 of 72
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GingerJohn View Post

The thing is, a lot of people don't actually know what "malware" is. I know, I know, we all do, but we are a minority.
If I went to my mother and told her she had malware on her computer she wouldn't really know what that meant. She could probably work it out as she is not stupid, but it doesn't give instant understanding.
However if I told her that she had a virus, she would instanty understand what I was talking about. Because everyone knows the term "virus" and, admittedly vaguely, what they are.
Edit:
I just tried this on my GF. She is very intelligent, probably smarter than me, but not good at computers and technical knowledge (language major). This is how the conversation went:
Me: I just noticed this morning that you have malware on your computer
Her: Oh. Is that bad?
Me: It could be, it depends what kind of malware it is.
Her: What does malware do?
Me: It can do a variety of things. Actually, it is probably a virus
Her: Oh no, is my data safe? Should I change my passwords? How do I get rid of it?
So whilst she knew that "malware" was probably bad, she instantly grasped the concept of "virus" as soon as I said it.

This pretty much sums up the point of this article and illuminates my stance on opportunistic marketing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

Makes sense--the phrase "computer virus" has been around for a lot longer than "malware." I wonder, if you had called it "malicious software" as opposed to its shortened version, do you think she would have understood a bit better what it is?

The answer would be maybe, but more likely no. I have used the term malicious software to try to define malware when questioned about it, and they still had no clue of what I was talking about. I got the obligatory "is it bad?"... when malicious obviously means "with intent to do harm"
Edited by MediaRocker - 5/11/12 at 1:14pm
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post #22 of 72
'Virus' can be manipulated by people as easily as the word 'hack' is abused by teenagers who think logging into someone's Facebook with their Email and Password constitutes 'hacking'.

Personally if someone asks me what has infected their computer I just say "stuff you don't want on there".
post #23 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

When people overwhelmingly know that their CPU is not the tower sitting next to them that their mouse, keyboard, and monitor are plugged into

You mean like the worrying amount of things like this

system.gif

When you type in "desktop computer diagram" into google images?
    
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post #24 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

When people overwhelmingly know that their CPU is not the tower sitting next to them that their mouse, keyboard, and monitor are plugged into, then I'll start caring about the semantics among identifying malware in general discussions. thumb.gif
But those are usually plugged into the motherboard not the tower tongue.gif
post #25 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Georgevonfrank View Post

But those are usually plugged into the motherboard not the tower tongue.gif
^Truth! lachen.gif

I would also like to add that at work, we generally just refer to malware as viruses. It avoids confusing customers as many of you have said and they all understand it. I think it's like the situation where many have taken to referring to any old MP3 player as an 'iPod' because it is a popular product, in the same way that viruses are fairly widespread forms of malware.
Edited by KingSheepy - 5/11/12 at 1:43pm
   
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post #26 of 72
I know a certain mac "enthusiast" that posts far too much in the news section that seriously needs to read this article.
 
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post #27 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordikon View Post

I do this all the time. I know the different between a Virus, Trojan, Worm, Malware, etc. But I generally just say "virus" to keep things simple. Until there is a general term for "software that can screw up your computer", I will continue to just use "virus", and for 99% of people that will be just fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

Semantics only matter when you have to interact with an ubergeek computer repair technician. Otherwise, I feel that the general term "malware" pretty much satisfies most, if not all, of the cases that arise because of a virus, a worm, intrusive adware, spyware, etc.
People who chime in about the proper use of the word "virus" really need to get a life--has nothing to do with Mac, PC, Phones, whatever.
When people overwhelmingly know that their CPU is not the tower sitting next to them that their mouse, keyboard, and monitor are plugged into, then I'll start caring about the semantics among identifying malware in general discussions. thumb.gif

Well said.

+1. To 90% or more of the Earth's population, a "virus" is ANYTHING that is wrong with a computer! Dead hard drive? "My Windows won't start I think I got a virus!"
Quote:
Originally Posted by guyladouche View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by drbaltazar View Post

this is why i hate lobbist like i hate mts!their job is to blur the optinion ,blur the line and make it ok that it happens!and after that they wonder why their magic publicity,malware,virus!or whatever you want to call it(since their purpose is pretty much all the same ,spam!)dont work!because sadly user get fed up of corporation using peoples bandwith!i dont mind paying for each gb I use!i do mind having to pay for stuf i dont want!like i use 1 gb spammer use 100 mb of MY BANDWITH!hell no not gona happen!i will even hire a hacker to make sure it doesnt if ms doesnt do what they re supposed to do!prevent this kind of thing happening!
and this is why nothing is black or white anumore,because lobbist are hired the blurr ,gray,shade overything ,its white?no problem give lobbist time and when their done it will be gray enough it wont mather!
hahaha!yep fun stuff lol!

When someone says "virus," we know exactly what they mean. When you say anything at all we have absolutely no idea what you mean.

I have absolutely no clue what this response has to do with the topic.

lachen.gif I seriously am LOLing at work.
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post #28 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by G3RG View Post

I know a certain mac "enthusiast" that posts far too much in the news section that seriously needs to read this article.


AHEM starts with a S and ends with a M


A lot of people should read it but he definitely should.


Also MODERATORS?!?!?! Could you please help my throbbing headache and explain to drbaltazar what a paragraph, sentence, and spelling are.
 
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post #29 of 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth Pyros View Post

+1. To 90% or more of the Earth's population, a "virus" is ANYTHING that is wrong with a computer! Dead hard drive? "My Windows won't start I think I got a virus!"
lachen.gif I seriously am LOLing at work.

Me: I fixed it.
Client: What did you do?
Me: I conjured a Chinese fire dragon and conducted a 7th century exorcism ceremony.
Client: Really?
Me: No. I fixed it.
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post #30 of 72
I don't think the medical analogy works. Parents who take their virus-infected child to the doctor and demand to be given antibiotics to fix it are (a small) part of the reason why antibiotic resistances are increasing. In this case the semantics are important.

I don't think that semantics matter as much for IT security, since there is no negative consequence to getting the terminology wrong (you may just find that you don't fix the problem). In all cases you want to get rid of malware regardless of what type it is, and if you have to use 40 different utilities to clean up your PC before you find one that works then so be it. You don't need to learn the semantics to fix the problem, just to fix it faster.
    
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