Monday, July 26, 2010

A Modest Suggestion for Computer Companies

Dear Computer Manufacturers:

Most of us are virus/malware/email scam savvy. We know not to click on certain things. We know that the email messages from a bank asking us to update our account information aren't really from our bank. We've resisted pleas from Ivory Coast orphans, Nigerian royalty, and London barristers. We know we have not won lotteries we never entered.

But many of your customers are vulnerable. They don't know that whenever they go on the Internet or receive email, they are entering a jungle. I suspect this group comes from an older generation that is especially susceptible to con artists.

So here's a suggestion: Whenever you pack one of your computers, put in a pamphlet telling those customers about the tricks and traps that are out there. Let your lawyers add the usual exculpatory language, but give some clear, easy-to-understand, warnings. In fact, publicize your efforts to spread the word about the predators. [You could even put the advice in the form of an amusing mystery so people will want to read it.]

If you are already distributing these warnings, congratulations! If you are not, consider that a warning campaign combines doing the right thing with a whole lot of business sense.

Show that you care. You'll be pleased with the response.

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