Scare him into it.
That's the lesson learned from the latest round of malware attacks: So-called "scareware" which tricks an infected user into thinking he has a virus or some other infestation on his computer, then extorts money from the user in exchange for "fixing" the issue.
Scareware is nothing new -- people are convinced they have some kind of infection that can't be remedied unless they send $30 to a Bulgarian company -- but its virulence is now becoming severe. Symantec says that 43 million people have been hit by scareware scams in the last year, and it's now a million-dollar-a-year business for some 250 practitioners of the art of selling phony security software.
Why is scareware so popular? First, the attacker gets cash from you in exchange for the "fix," so that's money straight off the top. Next comes the identity theft problem: By giving up your personal information you open yourself up to an ID theft risk, and your data can be resold to another crook, netting the original attacker a little bonus cash and victimizing the user further.
Then there's the capstone: Once you've paid for your fix, the attacker has no reason to actually remove the scareware. The initial pop-up could go away, but then it could lay dormant for six months and crop up again, asking for another 50 bucks. Or it could open a door for different malware to be installed, leaving the user no better off than before he paid his extortion money.
So head's up: Scareware apps can be extremely convincing, and many programmers go to extreme lengths to make their alerts look like part of the Windows operating system. But remember that no legitimate security application will ever ask you for money as a term for fixing a problem. Remember that if you ever get a "Pay $$$ to fix this problem immediately" come-on, you're being victimized by a scareware app. Download a real anti-malware application to fix the problem, or follow tried and true steps to repair things.