Windows Security

I recently had to do a complete reinstall after my Windows 2000 installation started to seriously misbehave, and subsequently lost two partitions and some files in the process (grrr…). Luckily I managed to save most of my files from one of the partitions, which Windows thought was un-formatted and had no data.

The interesting part of the experience, however, is that this was the first time I’d done a reinstall with a computer connected to the Internet, so while during the install I unplugged the network connection, but afterwards I needed to connect to the Internet to download a service pack and do a windows update. This is where the problems started…

I set up the connection manually, and after I connected the cable, it took less than one minute before I got the first Messenger Spam, and since these kept popping up every twenty seconds, it was very annoying. After a few more minutes my computer was infected with at least three other adware programs and Trojans, including the infamous pest Internet Optimizer. Since I’m well experienced in killing processes and cleaning out the registry, I managed to keep them partly at bay until the latest security patches were installed, and I had my antivirus-software up and running.

I knew what was going on and how to try to stop them, and managed to keep a cool head, but can easily imagine what a less technical user would feel – he or she would probably not know what to do at all, and most likely give up the whole process. I remember reading a good article a couple of months ago from a guy who had the same problem, only much worse; Why Windows is a Security Nightmare.

I guess the morale of this story is to not use Windows, but since this is not an option for me at the moment, I’m just going to have to keep make regular backups, update my Anti-Virus files, and remember to keep this and other important software on a CD so I can install it without having to go online again …