The April fools virus is coming on April 1, 2009. Are you ready?
This virus is called Conflicker Cabal and has received a lot of press, mostly because of the mystery surrounding exactly what it will do. Will it erase your hard drive? Will it steal your identity? Could it cause male erectile dysfunction? Or will it open our defensives to a devastating Cylon attack?
Who knows? Who cares? All I know is that I do not want it. And I’m sure you don’t want it either. Here’s a checklist to make sure your PC will not be cyber-punked on April Fools Day.
Machines running Mac and Linux operating systems are safe. See the article in the New York Times:
All you Mac people enjoy another snicker.
For the Windows/Vista user, the best thing you can do is to make sure your PC and antivirus program are up-to-date. Read my post called “PC In-Security” at the following link:
Don’t be fooled (again) with the scare of virus hoaxes.
This bug has enjoyed some good PR. CNN did a piece on it. And we all know that if it is on basic cable news, it must be the real thing. Along with this press comes the shock and awe factor scaring you into doing things that you normally wouldn’t do. (Y2K anyone?)
So no matter how strong the temptation, do not respond to a pop-up that says your PC is infected. And please do not click on any links in these sham pop-up warnings. One of the most notorious fake antivirus programs menacing Internet citizens is call Antivirus 2009. If you are offered this program then picture Julie Newmar with devil horns offering you a one-way train ticket to the Twilight Zone. In other words, RUN!
And we can’t escape the irony of how fear tricks us into doing something foolish that opens us to that which we fear. I’m sure there is a lesson there.