Have you received a
virus warning in e-mail? Don't pass it on without checking to see if
it's a hoax! Here's how:
warnings This page is considered the industry standard information
source for new virus hoaxes and false alerts.
Urban Legends - stories that appear to be true
- check this source before forwarding any warnings in e-mail! http://www.snopes2.com/index.html--
You can also try the "randomizer" just to get some good stories!
Here's a good one! Check
out this short
flash movie before you forward any more emails about sick kids,
earning money through email, or God loves those who forward email
about him! Courtesy Standard Printing.
(U.S. Dept of Energy-- Computer
Incident Advisory Capacity)
Test your internet connection. Try McAfee's
How to Identify a Hoax
me get started surfing the net!
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There are several methods to identify virus hoaxes, but first consider what makes a successful hoax on the Internet. There are two
known factors that make a successful virus hoax, they are: (1) technical sounding language, and (2) credibility by association. If
the warning uses the proper technical jargon, most individuals, including technologically savy individuals, tend to believe the
warning is real. For example, the Good Times hoax says that "...if the program is not stopped, the computer's processor will be
placed in an nth-complexity infinite binary loop which can severely damage the processor...". The first time you read this, it
sounds like it might be something real. With a little research, you find that there is no such thing as an nth-complexity infinite
binary loop and that processors are designed to run loops for weeks at a time without damage.
When we say credibility by association we are referring to who sent the warning. If the janitor at a large technological
organization sends a warning to someone outside of that organization, people on the outside tend to believe the warning because
the company should know about those things. Even though the person sending the warning may not have a clue what he is
talking about, the prestige of the company backs the warning, making it appear real. If a manager at the company sends the
warning, the message is doubly backed by the company's and the manager's reputations.
Individuals should also be especially alert if the warning urges you to pass it on to your friends. This should raise a red flag that
the warning may be a hoax. Another flag to watch for is when the warning indicates that it is a Federal Communication
Commission (FCC) warning. According to the FCC, they have not and never will disseminate warnings on viruses. It is not part
of their job.
Other Computer Information:
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