Half-Truths, Lies, and Tech Support

 I understand that Tech Support professionals have to tread carefully when it comes to dealing with customers. While they may want to be helpful; they also have to keep their bosses happy, and spout the company line.

It’s just that sometimes, the company line is a lie.

Heard recently from an Apple repair tech:

“Macs don’t get viruses”

This, after malware such as MacDefender, and Flashback, infected millions of computers within the past year.

Heard recently from an Android phone repair tech:

“There’s no such thing as a virus for Android”

This, after numerous reports of an alarming rise in the number of malicious applications infecting Android phones worldwide. In fact, Android is the most hacked mobile platform on the planet.

The assertions to the contrary made by supposedly knowledgeable Tech support personnel are not just patently false; they are dangerous. Consumers need to arm themselves with the facts and push back. That’s hard to do, though, because  companies like Apple, Google, and mobile phone carriers are so huge that it’s hard for an individual to make much of a difference.

Here’s the thing:

There are massive security issues that are both global in scope and terrifyingly intimate in the way that they can touch our lives. They threaten our national security, and can even empty our bank accounts. That’s why companies that provide us with technology goods and services should give us accurate information and effective solutions instead of head-in-the-sand BS.

Of course, that would assume that they actually want to solve our problems–but maybe they don’t.

Maybe the truth is that they know and don’t care that they’ve sold us inherently flawed goods, and have provided us with inherently insecure services. Maybe they know there’s nothing they can actually do to help us, and the best they can do is shine us on with half-truths and outright lies.

Or maybe they’re worried we’re all going to file massive class-action lawsuits, like the $5 million dollar suit just filed against LinkedIn which recently lost 6 million customer passwords to hackers as the result of allegedly lax data security procedures.

Even if that lawsuit isn’t successful; it’s a move in the right direction. It’s one way consumers can work together to demand more secure technology goods and services. Another way is to get educated about computer security issues.

Pass this blog post along to your friends. Start the conversation, and see where it leads.

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