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Viruses And Virtual Reality

The movie “Ready Player One”, based on the book of the same name, is a popular novel about a world where most of one’s life is lived online in a virtual reality space that mimics real life extremely well.  Users plug into the net in various ways, from shunts into their brain to suits and glasses.

In the last few years virtual reality has made huge strides and there are multiple goggles and games that you can play.  However, there are still some drawbacks.  For instance, controlling characters still requires the use of a stick or controller of some sort, and the movement of specific VR games is limited.  For instance, in the DOOM VR game you can’t move freely around the levels.  This is a hurdle for developers of the technology as well as the games.

If you could get the VR system to read your intent, aka read your mind, then we would be well on our way to solving this problem.  But how to do that?  Will we be able to develop a computer system that could read our minds?  And if so, then what would be the implications of such a system?

The other thing to think about is whether or not viruses would affect a virtual world.  You would have to imagine that they would, as it’s all computer based.  Would these viruses then be able to affect your brain, should the brain/computer gap be breached?  Since our brains are simply electrical impulses and are already susceptible to chemical and electronic interference, you would have to think that this could be a definite possibility.  Tad Williams’ books “Otherland” address this very issue.

Present antivirus software are now focused on stopping threats before they get onto your computer.  In a recent Avast Internet Security Review it was mentioned that Avast was able to get in front of Malware by noticing certain program behaviours.  This is above and beyond technology that was available even 3 years ago.  So the progress on the AI front is huge.

Stopping viruses from entering your brain will probably require a lot of internet security – I’m sure VR networks will require that you maintain some level of personal security.  However, would you trust your brain to a program such as Avast right now?  That’s what people in the future will have to do — trust their brains to third party software protection.

It’s an interesting time that we live in – technology is increasing rapidly and humans are struggling to catch up to in in a psychological sense.  Just look at the political warfare being waged by Russia in order to interfere with elections via social media engineering.  They are already using technology to change our brains in small and subtle ways.

There is no doubt in my mind that VR tech is good and necessary.  However it will be interesting to see what bad comes from it as well – there are always two sides to the coin.  Hopefully there will be adequate protections in place.

Protect Your PC and Your Safety

Attacks targeting home and business computers are increasingly common, with the tactics used often very sophisticated. That, in turn, suggests computer users need to take advantage of available software to protect their hardware, software, and sensitive data. There are a few basic solutions everyone can use to minimize the odds of a malicious attack being successful. While a few may require an investment, others are totally free.

Install Virus and Malware Protection Software

Here, there is a constant battle among software providers to provide the best protection. Reviewers are constantly testing new offerings from both free and fee-based systems to determine which offer the highest level of protection. Computer users owe it to themselves to monitor the reviews and, when necessary, install the best protection available. Oddly enough, some of the free offerings are often highly rated. PC Magazine and CNET are two sources users can access that provide reliable reviews.

Update Existing Software Often

Operating systems and browsers are routinely updated as new threats are identified. Make sure your computer is set to download updates automatically if you are not religious about checking for updates yourself. Other programs, like Microsoft Office, will also provide frequent updates designed to keep your system running properly and minimize the potential for intruders gaining access to your computer.

Take Advantage of Backup Services

Cloud-based backup services offer users an easy way to securely backup files. They require little in the way of software to set up and ensure your files are regularly saved to a remote location. In the event something happened that destroyed your resident file system, the data can be easily restored. On-site backup systems are also an option, but an on-site backup system is subject to theft or loss in the event of a fire. Those are not issues when the backup system is cloud-based.

It’s important to remember that data security best practices are constantly evolving. That means computer users should always stay up to date with the latest security strategies. By staying on top of ever-changing security software and updates, users can avoid many threats to the safety of the data on their computers.

If Something Goes Wrong

If something goes wrong with your computer then there are a few options that you can take advantage of in order to get it running again.  Depending on whether or not it’s a software issue or a hardware issue should determine your course.  If it’s caused by a physically broken piece of hardware then you’ll have to go the repair route – either replacing the part or taking it in to a tech repair place.  However if it’s software related you can often take steps to fix the problem on your own.  If the Windows operating system has been corrupted or damaged in some way (such as by a virus or malware program) you can use software such as Reimage PC Repair in order to fix the issues.  This program does a great job at fixing Windows from the inside out so you don’t have to worry about having to reinstall the operating system.

Basically prevention is the best thing when it comes to computer issues, but if you can’t prevent it then there are a number of good malware removal tools and PC repair tools that can help you get back up and running again.  I suggest a quick Google search as well to see if people haven’t found a solution to a particular problem already!

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