Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Cure for False Virus Alert Emails

Hello Folks,
I received a message from my friend JoJo in LA and wanted to pass this on.


Over the last month (and indeed, over the last many years !), I have gotten many "Urgent! Virus Alert!" e-mails from many people, warning me that my entire hard drive will be erased and so on. In each case, the e-mails that were forwarded to me contained the line "This has been checked on
Snopes.com!" (Snopes.com is one of several informational web sites that provide information on whether various e-mails that are circulating are true or false/hoaxes.)

I beseech all of you who, in your desire to be of help, pass on such reports: CHECK THEM OUT FOR YOURSELF FIRST. Do not just blindly accept what the last person sent you (who also blindly accepted it, because they knew the person who sent it to them, who also blindly accepted it, and so on, for a chain going back literally THOUSANDS of e-mails).

There are many sites that can be checked. Snopes.com is probably the most well-known. It is very simple. For example, if you receive a report that there is an "invitation" e-mail regarding the Olympics that will wipe your hard drive, just go to Snopes and search for the word "invitation" (without the quotes). Up comes a link to a page telling you all about this false report.

You could even just search on Google, for example, for the words "invitation olympic" (without the quotes). The first item on the results page is a link to Snopes.com's page telling you how this is a complete false report. If you instead searched on Google for the words "invitation olympic hoax" (without the quotes), this is even a more specific search, and up will come 109,000 sites, each one verifying that this supposed virus is actually a totally false report.

See how easy this is!

So, BEFORE YOU FORWARD ALARMING REPORTS, VERIFY THEM YOURSELF. You can LITERALLY save MILLIONS of people from being upset for no reason, just by you, yourself, not sending on one more alarming report.

Things spread like wildfire on the internet.

We can be responsible and help calm things down, just by simply having a look ourselves at the data and verifying it before speading it to the rest of the planet.

~ Eileen