Malware - Nits on the Internet

Malware – Real similar to getting nits on the Internet

Waking up to find your site covered in malware feels mighty similar to finding nits on your kid. Major ‘Euuuuch!’. Both situations bring an immediate need to ”Drop everything, already and DEAL with it.” Even procrastinators need to move fast on nits or malware.

Both events can bring out the desire to wallow around in various stages of grief, but both blights call for immediate action in the middle of emotion

Emotion Nits Malware
Denial No, it’s not really!… Maybe there is just one?… Maybe it’s a boy?… Maybe it’s a gay boy nit, all on his own! That sure is an ugly graphic telling people to stay away from my site…Maybe if I hit refresh it will go away? Heck, it’s not showing up in IE! What does Firefox know anyway?
Anger It’s that stinkin’ **** kid she caught it from! Why do they have to be in our school anyway? Who DID this to me?!? What did I do to them? I bet I can track them down if I try!
Guilt I should have braided their hair every day. I should have kept it cut shorter. I should have sprayed them with tea tree oil/ I should have read those emails. I should have applied those upgrades. I never should have sent that stuff in email…
Bargaining If I just give the kid a really good bath, maybe that will get rid of them? If I throw out all that clutter maybe that will do it? If I clean under the bed every week they’ll never come back I know, I’ll call the hosting company. It’s on THEIR servers! I think they should clean it up for me!
Depression Oh this is going to cost so much money and be so much work and it is such a loss of face… Oh this is going to cost so much money and be so much work and it is such a loss of face…
Resignation OMG! 24 hours to wash & fold every item of clothing in the house, pick up and quarantine every soft toy and vacuum every floor multiple times. 24 miserable, unavoidable, lonely, consecutive hours. OMG! Aargh! Send the site off to the professional site-scrubbers or rebuild it from scratch on a new server. Rebuild.it.from.scratch… Figure.out.how.to.remove.malware… Figure.out.point.of.entry… Block.it.forever…
Expense I love the Nit Pixies of San Rafael, they call themselves a Mom’s best friend and they may be ‘cheap at twice the price’ but they are still seriously COSTLY! You mean, I need to pay someone to clean this up or replace it? And I need to do it right now?

Seriously though, I have had 2 new clients come to me with malware in the last couple of months. Just like nits, malware can be quarantined, removed and blocked. And just like your house will be truly deep cleaned and de-cluttered after a nit attack, so will your site and your files be cleansed with all the old trash moved out. Gleaming, perfect and locked down against all intruders. Unfortunately, the similarity ends there. Nits are WAY more likely to come back, and nits are way more likely to come from your friends than from some random hacker.

Car design

If you built cars, what would they be?

“If the websites that you build were really cars, what type of cars would they be?”

This question came to me from a member of my local co-opetition. The lady beamed at me. “My company builds Cadillacs” she announced proudly. Like that was meant to be the end of it. I mean, how could I compete with that? Well, let’s not get into what Europeans like me think when they first see a real Caddy. Let alone a pink Mary Kay Caddy!

I was flailing for an answer… “Hybrids?” Because we are efficient and cost effective? VW Beetles or Mini Coopers because we are kind of friendly, funky, fast and a tiny bit alternative? Morgans because we have style, Baby, style? Maybe I’d better dig deep and come up with an American car.

Umm… No.

My final answer is that the question itself is wrong: Cars – at least those on the road – are an incredibly narrow subsection of the overall world of ‘Vehicles’. Vehicles range from  broken down $5 skateboards up through kid bikes, performance bikes, motorbikes, family cars,  sports cars, SUV’s, luxury cars, commercial trucks, HGV’s, earth movers, tunnel diggers, light aircraft, commercial jets, space rockets.

Cars tend to have a new / resale value somewhere between $2,000 for a used beater to $75,000 for new luxury. I know that there are a few up in the $200,000’s but they are a real rarity. Any running car has a certain real or donation value, if only for its parts.

Websites on the other hand? Not only is the sky the limit at the upper end with the big retail stores investing tens to hundreds of millions annually, but there is a lower end to the web world that not even wheel-less shells of old cars sitting on bricks in the front yard can lower themselves down to.  You’ve seen some of these sites… yellow, purple and striped survivors from 1997 who are somehow out there still at the lower end and LandsEnd.com at the high end.

So back to the original question – what kind of vehicle do we build? Let’s just say we are more like the manufacturer than the vehicle. Volvo builds cars, trucks, buses, boat engines and aeronautical components. And that is what we will do for our customers: give them the vehicle they need for the journeys they plan to take.