Virus Hoaxes are almost as bad as real viruses

I suspect you’ve probably got a fair share of these, I know I pull my hair out everytime I see someone forward one to their closest 400 friends and include me. Virus warnings. Viruses, are something that I deal with cleaning up quite a bit and I guess people try to help, but most of the time circulated virus warnings through email are hoaxes. I have seen one in particular crop up every now and then that directs the user to find and delete a file on the drive which is actually a harmless file distributed with Windows.

But how to tell the wheat from the chaff so to speak?

First, be suspicious of hyperbole. “Worst virus ever” “fast spreading” “destroys hard drives” “no antivirus can detect it” Those are usually the earmarks of a hoax. There are other kinds of email hoaxes that can be as bad though. There was one I’ve received a couple times about needles being placed in gas pump handles with tainted blood on them or something along those lines.

Sure, caution is better than being caught in an “evil plot” of some sort. There is one great site that I’ve found though that addresses and lets you search through a number of email hoaxes. It’s calledHoax Busters and is tremendously useful for the nth time you’ve received the email that says “Microsoft is testing a new email tracking technology and if you forward this to enough people everyone wins a trip to Disney World.”

Email was supposed to boost productivity?

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