Wednesday, November 02, 2005

14 questions answered in just over an hour

As a volunteer at allexperts.com I frequently get asked questions as to why a program doesn't install the way it was intended to. Others will ask a question and state 'I know I don't have a virus, but... What could it be?".. When in fact they probably do have a virus, just not a virus that their antivirus states as a virus, but more like spyware! Spyware has become, in my opinion a virus, simply because of what it does to your computer. Any program or file that causes another program or operating system to not function the way it was meant should be considered a virus since this is something that should not be there.

So here I found myself having to answer a slew of questions that rolled in over the past 2 days that I simply didn't have time to answer, but of the 14 questions, I found myself answering to over half of them with almost the same answer, and that is to "read my TIPS" and then visit the SOFTWARE/SUPPORT page and install the programs that I make available.

Since I try to give each question that I answer a personal touch but also keep it simple enough so that I am not spending all of my time answering 'free' questions when I have my own client computers to fix on my bench, I find myself creating more and more TIPS and adding them to my site which allows me to direct the person to the specific tip that deals with answering their question. It seems to be working as I have found it took just over an hour to complete what I would say is a somewhat lengthy answer for each question, since each question usually required more input, this will allow the person asking the question to do a little more research in to the problem and in most cases, solve the problem after understanding what caused the initial upset with regards to the fault they are now faced with.

One of the main reasons I volunteered with allexperts years ago, was so that I could do some research in to the problem that I was being faced with in the question. Unfortunately however, it seems that three quarters of my answers are very redundant by explaining the importance of installing, running, and remembering to continue to use the spyware software on a daily basis. Preventative maintenance is the key, but when you haven't been preventing it, you must first remove and clean the computer from the problems before you can truly say that you 'don't have a virus'.