Pst... Pass It On... I Found Out It's a Hoax

 


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When you receive an email telling you about a virus, what do you do with it? Do you send it to everyone in your address book to help them protect themselves too?

A virus warning is probably on its way to your inbox right now, claiming to be from a credible source and warning you of a dangerous virus on the loose. Beware. You might be tricked into taking part in an Internet hoax - chain mail virus alerts.

It is believed that 60% plus of the Virus Warnings in circulation are hoaxes. Further, your anti-virus software may already have a cure for this particular ailment IF it is real.

Even old hoaxes, which have been around for years, can make the rounds again, according to Trend Micro, an anti-virus software company.

'There are a number of new hoaxes because they are so easy to write, you don't need to be a programmer, ’ the anti-virus company spokesperson said.

What about all of those ‘Get Paid to Send Email’ schemes? Do you forward them along too, because you do not know if they are true or not, and figure ‘why should I take the chance that it is not real?’ These ‘Get Paid to Send Email’ schemes are a fine example of hoaxes that can make the rounds again and again.

There have been at least a dozen incarnations of a ‘Get Paid to Send Email’ hoax recorded at several of the hoax sites listed in this article. For the complete story, try the search terms ‘Bill Gates’ or ‘Nike’ or ‘AOL / Microsoft’ at any of the Hoax sites.

Let me cut to the chase, no one has the technology to track emails sent through the Internet! No one will ever pay you for sending emails to everyone in your address book! This story is a verified hoax.

Here is a list of Hoax Information Sites that you can check the validity of the warning or the message in your email inbox. You might just be surprised by which items are hoaxes and which are not.

  • http://www.kumite.com/myths

  • http://www.snopes.com

  • http://hoaxbusters.ciac.org/

  • http://antivirus.about.com/compute/antivirus/

For those people who don't know the tell-tale signs of hoaxes, here's a checklist:

  1. IBM/Microsoft/Dell/Gateway have verified this. Does anyone think they care? They don't. If it said Norton, McAfee or any other antivirus vendor I might listen. If a virus killed your computer or software the above companies would be delighted because you'd have to buy more computers, and they would be delighted to sell you one.

  2. Even if the email proclaims that one of the virus companies is verifying this virus, where is the link to the virus companies website, detailing the important information concerning this particular strain of virus?

  3. Published on CNN. Again, where is the link? Could you find it yourself?

  4. You'll never be able to use your computer again. Hogwash. If you got a virus the very worst case is that you'd have to format it and reinstall everything. And that's extremely rare anyway. No virus will harm your computer, only the software on it.

  5. This virus damages/destroys Windows and McIntosh systems. More hogwash. These are two very different operating systems with very different ways of executing software.

  6. Don't even open it! Yea right. 99.9% of virii are carried in attachments to emails not in the emails themselves. Use a bit of common sense and don't open any unexpected attachments from strange sources. And if you keep your AV software up to date, you're most often covered anyway. (The only email software not safe from some types of viruses are Outlook, Outlook Express, and Netscape 6. Users of Outlook and Outlook Express can visit http://Microsoft.com for the patch to protect these email programs from imbedded vb-script viruses. Netscape 6 users can guarantee their own protection by turning off the JavaScripting feature inside of their Preferences. )

  7. Forward to all your friends. Now we're down to the crutch of it. This email IS the virus - a social one. Look at the facts. It gets sent to all your friends. It infects peoples inboxes and causes panic. Sounds like a virus to me. It doesn't actually do any harm like most virii but is a waste of your time.

  8. Verify these things yourself before forwarding them. To simplify the task of verification, there is a new freeware application on the market designed to help you do just that. It is called ‘Quick Swords V’ and it has been developed for you by a new company called InternetMusketeers.com. The ‘V’ stands for ‘Virus’.

Here is an overview of how the software works: ‘Simply type in your Search Terms, then click on the Virus / Hoax Information Searches drop down list, and then select your choice for expert guidance on the subject of Viruses and Hoaxes. With Quick Swords V, we can help take the guesswork out of your decision making process. We are giving you direct access to the nearly immediate search results of 16 Virus / Hoax sites on the Internet. '

Quick Swords V (virus) ships as Freeware, so you have no excuse not to verify the Virus information before sending it to everyone in your address book anymore. It only takes a minute to verify the latest juicy warning in your email box. I know your mouse finger is itching to click Forward, but your friends will Thank You for verifying this information before hitting Send!

Instead, click here: http://InternetMusketeers.com/apps/QuickSwords

I would like to thank the following people for assisting me in the gathering of the information presented in this article:

  • Steven McCarthy, Co-Owner of A Helping Hand at: http://learn. at/ahh

  • Christy, Co-Owner of http://Hackfix.org; a non-profit site dedicated to fighting worms and trojans

  • Mike Banks, the Owner of Mikes What's News at:

About The Author

Bill Platt - Owner of WindstormComputing.com and The Windstorm Computing and Technical Support Newsletter. Subscribe: WindstormComputing-subscribe@topica.com .

Also the Author of the award-winning Quick Swords Family of Software Products: http://InternetMusketeers.com/apps/QuickSwords

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