On a recent Sunday morning when Lew Tucker’s Dell desktop computer was overrun by spyware and adware – stealth software that delivers intrusive advertising messages and even gathers data from the user’s machine – he did not simply get rid of the offending programs. He threw out the whole computer.
Tucker, an Internet industry executive who holds a Ph.D. in computer science, decided that rather than take the time to remove the offending software, he would spend $400 on a new machine.
He is not alone in his surrender in the face of growing legions of digital pests, not only adware and spyware but computer viruses and other Internet-borne infections as well. Many PC owners are simply replacing embattled machines rather than fixing them.