In a recent post about ads for fake virus scanners and their propensity for snagging less experienced/more gullible users ("Microsoft declares war on 'scareware'"), I asked the following questions:
Should users have to pass a computer driving test? If so, what questions do you think should be on it?
(There should probably be a similar test for parents -- but that's a topic for a different day.)
I thought my post would generate some interesting responses from the residents of Cringeville, and I was right. I wanted to share some of the better suggestions I received.
Reader F. T. wants "a mandatory course on the 'Internet for Dummies' - which covers such 'advanced' topics like scaling down picture attachments from your digital camera to a reasonable size for sending so it doesn't fill someone's e-mail box as well as the concept of using e-mail in general."
In other words, E-mail 101, or how to not be a bandwidth hog. Fair enough.
Techie W. W. has a long wish list of "driving instructions" he wishes every user would master. Here's a partial list:
- How to get to the command line
- How to get to the command line and type ipconfig /all
- How to start Task Manager and what it can tell them
- How to browse a hard drive with Explorer and the command line
- How to compress a file without WinZip
- How to manually run Windows update from My Computer
- How to Add Remove programs
- The bandwidth ramifications of streaming videos/stock quotes/music/etc
- Why and when not to close the error message dialog before calling for assistance
He also wishes users would use software for the purposes intended -- for example, Excel is not a word processor or project management tool.
T. H. wants to ask users the following security question:
If your bank, credit card, or anyone you do business with asks for your PIN or identification because your account has been compromised, do you send the information? What if they just want to confirm info? What do you do?
(He also wants them to identify whether their computer has a CD/DVD tray or a coffee cup holder. And no, "all of the above" is not an acceptable answer.)