P2P Not-Working

| Bakersfield, CA, USA | Criminal/Illegal, Family & Kids, Technology, Theme Of The Month

(A customer approaches, and angrily sets down her laptop.)

Me: “Hi there, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I purchased this laptop two months ago, and you guys installed antivirus on here. Now I have a virus on my computer. I barely use it and rarely even go on the internet, so obviously they’re defective. I want a refund.”

Me: “I’ll be happy to help, ma’am. Would you mind if I run our free in-store diagnostic test, just to make sure that it is a virus?”

Customer: “Fine, but it’ll be a waste of time; this shouldn’t have happened and—”

(The customer continues ranting about how inept our technology items are. Meanwhile, I am running our diagnostic, and even superficially I can tell that it has a virus infection. Curious, I also quickly pull open the program list. I notice something interesting.)

Me: “Ma’am, do you know what [software name] is?”

Customer: “Uh, no…”

Me: “It’s a peer-to-peer sharing program. It’s one of the ways that people can illegally download music, movies, and the like. It’s also a very common way to get viruses, since anyone can upload anything to the P2P network.”

Customer: “But I would never do anything like that.”

Me: “Ma’am, does anyone else use your computer?”

(The customer’s face suddenly drops.)

Customer: “My daughter…”

Me: “Does she have her own account with parental controls, or do you let her use your account?”

Customer: “She uses mine.”

Me: “Well, most likely she’s been using it to download files, and that’s how you got the virus.”

Customer: “But the antivirus software you guys installed should’ve stopped this!”

Me: “Antiviruses aren’t magic walls, ma’am. If you allow viruses to get past the protocols, which this would, viruses can get through. Normally, the software should issue a warning, but most likely your daughter ignored that when she downloaded the files.”

Customer: “Oh… Well, how much is this going to cost me to fix?”

(I give her the quote, which she dutifully pays. As I hand her the receipt, she mentions one last thing.)

Customer: “When I get home, that girl is going to be grounded so hard! That money is coming out of her bank account!”