I just saw something on Ars Technica that I can’t help find both funny and sad at the same time. It’s essentially proof of what I think a lot of people have known for a long time and that is that most people’s brains have apparently begun to lose weight in all the wrong ways.
Specifically, some people in the Psychology Department of North Carolina State University made up some fake dialog boxes that are intended to have a varying degree of similarity to real windows messageboxes. They then put together a situation where they could spring them on people who weren’t expecting them.
Essentially they found out that most of the subjects made choices that, had the situation been real, would have given permission for malware to install itself on the system. Why? Mostly because they were so annoyed at having to deal with the popups that they didn’t even bother to look at them. Instead, they just clicked “Ok” to get rid of them.
I am not a hamster, I know that popups are annoying. I hate the things too. but when something appears that looks like a windows dialog box I stop and read it and then look it over. There are times when you can tell that it’s a fake.
Don’t just click something away. Take at least five seconds to read it first.
[tags]malware, idiots, study, fake popups, windows alert[/tags]