Thousands of computers running Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system were unable to connect to the internet after installing an anti-virus update . Users said they were also unable to access their internal company networks. It is not the first time an anti-virus update results in a disaster (see here).
This reminds me of how much we misunderstand computer viruses.
On the eve of computer programming (see Cohen, F., Computer Viruses – Theory and Experiments, 7th Security Conf., DOD/NBS, September 1984 – see here) viruses were considered also as a very good tool. One could use them to diseminate information to many computers throughout a network, control situations, make updates (the case of anti-virus updates), use multiple computers in a network to perform complex calculations (see the Xerox PARC Worm – see here) et cetera.
A good tool is a good tool. If it is used in a bad way, that does not change the fact that it is still a… good tool!
Take frequent backups and stop being afraid of viruses!
Rest assured. Your computer and data security is on the hands of a virus.
You use a virus every day!