Virus Warnings and other hoaxes

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We are all here using computers and the Internet, and who has not received an email with "VERY IMPORTANT INFORMATION - DO NOT OPEN 'BUDDYLIST.ZIP' " or "5000$ from Bill Gates" and other mails like these.

Most such mails are not talking about real threats or offers, they are hoaxes created for... well, somebody seems to find it funny for some obscure reason, and the only thing the acheive is a lot of unnessecary email going back and forth the Internet, slowing down the system and filling up your inbox with junk

So what can we do to minimize this problem?

First of all, DON'T forward virus warnings or chain letters! The only time you should warn other people is if you actually have a virus in your system and it has been forwarded to other people in your adress-book. If possible, you should also advise people on how to remove the virus, there are resources on the Internet on this subject.

If you recieve a virus warning, please use your head, read the mail and think: Who sent the mail? Do they know what they are talking about or are they just forwarding something? What are the hard facts of the warning?

Are there any authority on viruses behind the mail, any links to legitimate sites?
"AOL has just confirmed this is a very dangerous virus, there is no cure for it and it will delete your harddisk. This very dangerous virus started five days ago"
AOL do not issue warnings, it is the job of other companies, and they will have information on the virus if it has been around for five days on the net.

The chain letter thing is also an annoyance to many people. In many contries such things are actaully illegal, so the best thing you can do is to just delete it.

"Oh, but it says to forward the mail to people to show that you love them!!"

OK, if you love people, why don't you write them a personal email (or sometimes even better a snail mail, you know, that system actually still works, and getting a real letter is very nice and very personal)

Those chain letters will convey no such thing as a sign of caring or affection, that is only done when you contact people on a one to one basis with a dedicated message to that one person.

The chain letter will at best get the reaction "oh no, not again!"

What about themailsfrom Bill Gates and Nokia giving away free cash or telephones for nothing?

Come on, get wise. At the very least, if you want to believe it, go to the websites of said companies and check for details on their philantropic behaviour.

Lastly, here are a few places I go to, when I want to find out abut viruses and hoaxes:

And I use an Antivirus Tool called 'InoculateIt' which is free for personal use, and can be found here:

Bookmark on your Personal Space

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