You know, I get one of these Greg House moments every once in a while, and this time it just happened to be when a friend on Twitter (@falconsview) brought up an interesting question... the train of thoughts went something like this:
ME: Looking down from doctor's office at a bunch of doctors at the back entrance of the hotel ... smoking.
@andrewsmhay: "ah, but at least they know, and accept, the risk (as stupid a risk as it is)."
@falconsview: "can you actually say that people "know the risk"? I mean, really? people tend to be v bad at estimating risks..."
We proceeded to poke fun of doctors and how they probably get a discount on cancer treatments and other rather tasteless things ... but this stuck with me.
As I was sitting in traffic on the way home I thought to myself ... "self ... you know this could really apply to the user categories in my previous post!" ...
How many people think they understand the risks of what they're doing when they use their computers in an unsafe manner yet in reality have no idea how big the risks they're taking?
For example, a very close personal friend of mine does all her life on her laptop - yet when asked why she doesn't back up her response is "it's no big deal ...". This demonstrates a clear lack of understanding of the risks of the digital age.
Think about it this way, everyone that you know that has a computer, especially those that are not-so-tech-savvy probably thinks they have some clue on how to be safe. They may even think they understand what it means when all those pop-ups asking them to make system changes pop up. They may even fool themselves into thinking that they understand what's going on with their computer ...the reality is 99.999% of them don't. I'd be willing to make a wager on that.
The solution? Maybe Best Buy and the other PC stores should sell a free 1hr "class" with each computer. This class would illustrate the risks of using the PC, and how to minimize un-necessary risks maybe?
Oh ... that's right. Nevermind, that'll never happen. Why? Because as long as "Geek Squad" exists it is in the best-interest of the big electronics stores to have you buying, screwing up your PC, and coming back to get it "fixed" by one of these chuckle-monkeys. Sad huh?
So those doctors that were smoking ... I'm sure they understood what they were doing is stupid, and to what degree it is stupid - but are they mentally comprehending the risks? Like the users ... probably not.