'Twas the night before Christmas, when all thro' the house
Not a sound could be heard, 'cept the click of a mouse;
The browser was open to Facebook, where else?
As friends posted updates about kittens and elves;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of smartphones danc'd in their heads,
And my wife at her laptop, and I at my desk,
Had just settled our brains for a much needed rest—
When out of my speakers there arose such a clatter,
I suspended a chat to see what was the matter.
To a shiny new window I shifted my gaze,
But then it was gone, leaving me in a daze.
The glare of the screen and the whir of the drive,
Made me think I was safe, and my PC alive;
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a dialog box, which just filled me with fear,
With a little old message, so simple and spare,
I knew in a moment it must be malware.
"Your files are hostages, don't start to doubt,
And you'll pay us a ransom to get them back out."
"My Word docs, my e-mails, my photos and Quicken,
appointments and bookmarks and music, all missin'!"
"To Facebook Security, to the search engines too,
I need a solution! Please, someone, come through!"
As soon as it happened, I asked myself why,
And I thought it all through, then I said with a sigh,
"You never did update your browser or Flash,
and you still click on links that offer free cash.
You use anti-virus that's three years too old,
and you click through the warnings, no matter how bold."
But now it was too late to beat up myself,
I needed the help of some friendly elf.
And then in a twinkling, I saw in a post
Just what to do if your files were toast.
As I followed directions, my fingers were crossed,
I just hoped and prayed that all was not lost.
An hour passed, and then it was three,
I rebooted again, and my files all were free!
Embarrassed, I posted my tale on my Wall,
to serve as a warning for friends one and all.
"You're lucky," said one, "some malware is worse."
Lucky or not, this stuff is a curse.
So with that I learned a good lesson or two
about patching my software and thinking things through
before clicking on links that just don't make sense
and backing up files before things get tense.
Now I leave you with this as I turn out my light—
A safe Christmas to all, and to all a good night.