Yes, it is true. We give technical advice, we help fix computer problems, we tsk-tsk and shake our head in awe when we hear about someone not protecting their computer but the truth be told - we are just as guilty, or even more so as we are the professionals and we should know better.
I am not sure why we do not follow our own advice - is it because we canít be bothered? Or do we feel we are smart enough to fix any issue that might arise? Or maybe it is the same reasoning that users give us - not enough time to worry about backups, virus scanning and defragging the hard drive. What makes it worse is that when a user gives us the time excuse we typically provide a lecture on the importance of these tasks and explain that the amount of time that will be lost fixing an issue much exceeds that time spent preventing the issue.
Why I am brining this up now? Partially out of guilt and partially because if users know that the geeks can also slack in the upkeep and maintenance of their systems - and yes we even have the same issues as everyone else - then they might feel better about there own computer practices or even better yet try to be better than the geeks themselves. The old the student passes the master outcome.
The guilt comes from a conversation I had with a friend that other day about a computer he was buying for his daughter. He is not the most technical person so he was depending on me to provide information on the differences between PC based laptop and a Mac - mostly in the prevention of viruses and spy ware.
As I started to talk to him about the differences the conversation started to turn towards what he could do to help prevent viruses and spy ware including keeping is virus software up to date, scanning a regular intervals and only opening email attachments from known senders. Then the guilt started to sink in. When was the last time I performed a full scan? How many times have I closed the box reminding me that my virus software subscription was out of date and I needed to renew but never took the time?
Of course I did not tell him of my faults or that the advice I was so freely providing him was advice that I myself was not following. I just did what any self-respecting geek would do - I quickly updated my subscription, ran a full system scan and set my virus scan software to run a full scan weekly.
I am happy to report I did not have any viruses.