viernes, 25 de junio de 2010

Windows user: it's your viruses, it's YOUR problem!!

Do Linux users need an antivirus?
Opinions tend to be divided on this issue, but some Linux users say that having and running an antivirus may be handy in the case Linux users have to send a file that happens to be infected.

At this point, some Linux users may say "Hey, viruses don't affect me. Why should I care what happens to someone using Windows? It's their viruses; it's their problem."

True. Most viruses--not all--target Windows. We Linux users are safer. For most Windows users, especially if they rely on IE, going online is the equivalent of taking a surfboard to cross a river full of crocodiles, sharks, and piranha. Those threats are for Linux as dangerous as goldfish--careful, though...goldfish may bite! ;)

Let's see, an infected Windows computer sends a virus-infested file to a Linux user. The terrible virus Sharkattack.exe will become Goldfish.useless in Linux. However, if the Linux user resends the file to a different Windows user, Goldfish.useless will morph again into Sharkattack.exe and cause havoc at the new shores it reached.

Sorry for the Windows user! Shame on him/her for not having an updated Shark killer, I mean, antivirus (I don't want to get in trouble with Save the Shark activists.) The virus did not affect Linux anyway, so Linux users shouldn't care what happens if their files are infected with viruses for Windows.

That attitude makes me think of what other bloggers call The Ku-Tux-Klan: only Linux counts and those who are not part of the movement deserve to die in the hands of their viruses and malware.

However, that is not what I have learned from the sense of community in Linux. Maybe I was lucky to pick a distro with a nice, supportive community. Maybe I am still too naive. Maybe I still have present my days as a Windows user and all the suffering I underwent. Whatever the reason is, I feel Linux, as a community, must not be a closed, elitist one. I don't want to be part of the Ku-Tux-Klan. Linux helped me; I want to help others through Linux. If they migrate or not, it is their choice and if they don't, that does not grant me the right to send them viruses.

No. I'm not helping the enemy because Windows users are not my enemy. I'm not patronizing Windows, either. Let's think again. What will the Windows user think?

"My good Linux-loving friend sent me a virus. Of course, since viruses do not affect Linux because .exe files are useless in Linux, he/she does not have an antivirus, so chances are my friend didn't even know there was a virus hidden in the file. Poor me! Shame on me an on Windows! Oh, now I have to see how I save what was left of my computer or how I stop my info to be leaked. Mental note: get Linux for next time."

You will probably agree that such scenario is far from what an average Windows user will think, right? That simply won't happen. Not even in Tux's wildest dreams!

So, what will Windows users think?

"My Linux-loving friend is so selfish. Since he/she is safe from viruses, he/she does not care about those of us who ARE affected by viruses!"

Still not quite. His/her thoughts will be most likely like this...

"Damn! Linux is not so good because my friend who runs Linux sent me a virus that thrashed my drive! Damn Linux; it's worse than Windows: my Windows stops infected mails at least!!"

Let's face it: if we do nothing to help fight viruses, we are not helping Tux either. Besides, we all are part of the same community of computer users. Closing up the gates of our happy castle as Poe's Prince Prosper did will certainly cause the Red Death sneak into our dwelling and kill us.

1 comentario:

  1. these Linux users are Linux Fundamentalists that do Tux a disservice...

    I believe that your reading of Windows users' reactions when they get a virus form a Linux user is extremely accurate...and sad.

    They go like "If Linux cannot help me, then Linux is no use" forgetting that Windows drove them into the hole in the first place.