The Conficker Worm itself does not seem to do much harm. It’s just a competent piece of programming which is hard to detect, and which so far, seems not to be malicious. It sounds to me like the work of a couple of smarty-pants but good-natured high-schoolers. It will modify itself on Wednesday to make its masters harder to find.

People with genuine copies of Windows who get automatic updates, and have some good anti-virus software, have nothing to worry about. Since it doesn’t seem to do anything, probably no-one has much to worry about.

But the scareware makers will have a field day. Vastly more harm will be done by fake warnings about the conficker worm, either as emails or pop-ups, than will be done by the worm itself.

To repeat my advice of a few days ago, ignore and delete any emails containing breathless warnings about the worst virus ever, and ignore and immediately leave any website which tells you your computer is infected with the conficker worm or any other virus. These things are a con. Even warning emails from friends are a time wasting annoyance.

Just keep Windows updates and anti-virus software up to date, and run a full scan every week or so.