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Paranoia Level Test
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We got word today that everyone in our office will get a new CPU and that the old ones will be returned to the IT division for reissue to other offices, replacing yet older equipment.

I never thought of it before, but this process is definitely a way to evaluate the level of paranoia in a user. And the way to assess the quality of geekiness.

Some users said, "Fine. Great," and started backing up their data. Other users said, "Oh, My God! What am I going to do? How do I hide all this stuff? What if they read my email??"

To which my answer is, "Primus, this is a organization-issue machine. You're not supposed to have private software on it, unless you've registered it with the IT gods." (I have Norton Systemworks and Weatherbug.)

"Secundus, just deleting e-mail and private files isn't going to 'hide' them or keep them out of the hands of the IT folks. You weren't supposed to have anything on there that you would be ashamed to show your grandmother. To delete it properly you need government security level delete/overwrite protocols."

"No, I'm not going to help you."

I did go over and look at what all the screaming and moaning was about. Just a few pictures of family and pets; nothing to worry about. But the fear that emanated from these folks was astounding. Everyone has a few pictures and a few private emails. Everyone does a little web surfing; so what? No one admitted to porn (I really don't think there was any); I suspect the terror was all self-serving. A good chance for the drama queens to emote. Sigh.

One man unplugged the power cord while the computer was booted up, explaining that a "power surge" would corrupt all the files and no one could read them. Uh, OK. The other guy suggested that he swap hard drives with the new computer (a possibility I told him; let's see what we're going to get) if they're compatible. He didn't want to do all that backup. I told him to back it up anyway; who knows what the Corruption Godlets will do?

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