Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Manbits #4

*** If you're male, and you want a bit of advice on your sexy, sexy mither, drop us an e-mail at todger dot talk at googlemail dot com ***

Supreme Monkey Overlord writes: I currently share a flat with another bloke, who I don’t know all that well, but apart from one thing we get on fine. We have a shared PC (mine) in the living room, and I don’t mind him using it at all. But recently the browser has become absolutely rammed with porn bookmarks, and I know for a fact that they’re not from me. I really want to have a word with him about it because I feel he’s taking the piss (I’ve told my girlfriend that it’s bust at the moment, as I don’t want her using it, thinking it’s me and kicking off), but I don’t want to start a row - and I really don’t want to raise the possibility of what he gets up to on my PC. What do I do?

Sam says: I think a computer is a bit like a bed; it’s actually a very personal thing and part of your territory, but the trouble is people tend to treat it like public property these days. How would you feel if the bloke you lived with just slept in your bed every time he felt like it and had a wank while reading porn? Pretty pissed off, I’d imagine.

Apart from anything else, he is putting you and your computer at risk. Loads of porn sites have adware, trojans and viruses, and looking at porn is a (if not the) prime way to get spammed and have your computer turned into a zombie bot.

Talk is cheap and people stay the same – you asking him to stop looking at porn on your computer (and probably having a good old monkey spank at the same time) isn’t going to actually stop anything. At best he will just delete the bookmarks and keep doing what he already does.

Therefore, you’ve got to bite the bullet on this one and take action. Move the computer into your bedroom, which is your personal territory, which makes it much harder for him justify using it. Then, also tell him that you have had some problems with spam and viruses, that it’s your personal computer and he’s going to need to get himself a laptop. He’ll take it on the chin, stop taking the lazy option and if he really wants some good wank material, buy himself a laptop. Probably better for everyone - there is no chance that you or your girlfriend are going to have the horrible experience of him caught in the headlights monkey in hand, and he gets to the look at porn in the privacy of his own room. Laptops are much cheaper these days (you can even get one with a new mobile phone contract), so really it shouldn’t be much skin off anyone’s nose.

‘Mr Sex’ says: Hm, one of the great dilemmas of the age, this one. I’m gonna play Devil’s Advocate here, and take the side of your mate.

Obviously, the situation is pissing you off enormously, and by the tone of your e-mail, you’re about this close to bursting into the flat after spending a night brooding in the pub, laying about his skull with a keyboard, and screaming “I’M! NOT! PAYING! FOR! YOUR! WANKS!” with every stroke. House-related toss-problems always bring about extreme reactions; we know that we enjoy relaxing in a gentlemanly manner, but when we think about anyone else we know doing the same…yeuch.

Speaking as someone who doesn’t have £400 quid lying about, I’m not down with Sam’s idea that one can pick up a laptop just like that, and the moving of something you’ve offered to share is the first step towards a war of domestic minge-bag attrition that invariably leads to people writing their names on their eggs. So let’s not do that, not just yet. Furthermore, firing wankusations at another man is not on, either, and will cause far more trouble than its worth. In any case, these bookmarks could have come from anywhere - a gambling site, a P2P programme, a dodgy software site – and for all you know, you could have activated them yourself.

I’m not the most spodular person I know, but a quick and easy solution would be to do a complete scan and de-grot of your hard drive (even reformat the whole thing, if you can back everything up on a portable drive), and then create separate password accounts for each of you. That way, neither of you knows what the other one is on with, and your girlfriend isn’t going to be invited to look at God knows what (unless you’ve put it there). Then, and only then, should you broach the subject of laptop-related apartheid.

Oh, and if your flatmate happens to be Gary Glitter, burn it. Now.

People of TT: Comment!


Anonymous said...

If it's a Windows machine, just create the roomie a separate login account. That way he gets his own set of bookmarks, program settings, &c, that can't be seen when you log in with your (or gf) account. They're also deleted at a stroke when you delete his account.

Phil Murphy said...

Or if you can't be bothered switching between accounts, why not install a different browser (Firefox, Opera, etc.) for your mate to use for his p0rn surfing?

Jade Falcon said...

I'm guessing this is a windows box. The trouble with the separate account idea is that it doesn't safeguard the machine from harm. Just because users have separate accounts doesn't prevent software from attacking the machine, regardless of who invited it in (knowingly or not). Firefox with proper anti-spyware plugins will help (NoScript is a personal favorite), as well as a decent security suite (the combination of AVG AntiVirus and SpyBot is a winner) will help mitigate the damage.
The real problem here, though, is your flatmate's choice of porn sites. Armoring up the computer is all well and good, but it's not nearly as effective as getting your flatmate to stop walking it through a war zone. Proper porn browsing is a habit that requires a little intelligence, but it's nothing beyond a semi-competent user. Good places to start would be and their friends. If he wants to do some serious porn browsing, I'd encourage him to sign up for an account over at PureTNA. It's a porn-only torrent tracker, with a lot of very high-quality stuff. Much better than those silly little 10-second clips on most places.

Rob The Geek said...

To some degree I am just regurgitating what has already been said. But since I am a geek, I feel obligated to repeat it:

1. Talk to him about it.

2. 90%+ of porn sites on the net are littered with malicious scripts, trojans, hijacks, adware, malware, some other "ware" I dont even know about. He could potentially be putting your machine, and YOU at risk (e.g. a keylogger getting inadvertantly downloaded and sending your passwords to someone else).

3. Create seperate accounts for each user, this helps protect your system (since if you set him up as non-admin/limited, he wont be able to install as much etc) as well as help protect your girlfriends eyes from the hot, yet argument-inducing "teen cheerleader sluts 3".

4. Make sure your virus and firewall are plenty up to date. Also watch for degrade in performance, can be a sure sign of some sort of comprimise, although, this because less obvious in newer machines.

The bottom line is though, the machine is YOUR property. You have the final say on what goes on. TBH, if I were in your position I would rather educate him in how to get good free porn rather than get it from websites (been online since 11, kinda got it nailed now). And limit the access that he has over cause an argument. BUT, if I thought he was downloading anything over the top (say, animals or something) OR was putting my system at risk by putting his wank before my £700+ piece of kit, I would kick his ass off of there and lock the machine down.

Not only that, ultimately, if anything illegal is being downloaded, you are liable.

lena said...

Am i the only one concerned about the quality of this guy's relationship? Surly if his girlfriend trusts him she will understand the situation if he explains it to her instead of going ballistic over those bookmarks? I mean wouldn't it be easier to do that than lie to her about the machine being broken? won't she be even angrier and suspicious when the truth eventually surfaces?
also, what's whith the whole 'protect' her from the sight of porn approach? surely she's an adult and not a 12 year old schoolgirl, surely she's come accros it before? seriously, women are not as precious and innocent as men often seem to think...

Frodo Baggins said...

I'm with Sam on this one. Move the machine into your own room. It's not just the fact that he is putting you at risk from the virus', Trojans and whatever out there - think of the health issues. This guy could be spanking the monkey and then using your mouse and keyboard. I'll bet he doesn't wash his hands in between.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Lena! Yes, of course the porn-is-putting-your-pc-at-risk thing sucks. But if you don't trust your girlfriend with the sight of porn, or with the fact that it isn't yours, that doesn't sound right.
I advice you to tell her what's going on. It could give you both a good laugh!! (and maybe start a healthy conversation on porn, who knows what your girlfriend is into ;)...)

Jack said...

YES. I'm gonna chime in with Lena and Lilithgirl and agree that he's got bigger issues if the girlfriend isn't willing to accept that it's the roommate looking up porn and would start a fight over it. Sort that out.

Now, talking about the computer. Spyware and viruses are extremely advanced now. Forget about trying to defeat them, once they're on your system then they are a permanent fixture. If you're going to continue to share your computer with this horny friend then you may as well write it off. You will not be able to enter any sort of personal information in there without it being stolen by hackers on the other side of the globe. Either make him buy a new computer or buy yourself a new one.