I will make this one short.
Here is the problem: We all love to tell stories and warn others of danger. It is in our nature, right? But, simply put, sometimes you cause more problems by passing along that warning before you verify whether it is true, or even plausible.
Everyone knows about chainmail hoaxes and urban legends, right?
I’m guessing, “not”.
It would seem as though everyone is compelled to tell me that, say, pavlo _88 is going to get me if I don’t watch out! Believe it not, the actual problem is all of the hundreds of thousands of bogus warnings boucing around the internet! It costs real money and takes up real time and storage space on real hard drives all around the planet. It’s not just one email.
If it is true that “opening that email causes your computer to be hacked“, then maybe you might consider not turning your computer on. Then you won’t be compelled to tell everyone about the latest hysterical, CAPITALIZED THREAT WARNING you just receive from your best friend in Houston, Sydney, Cairo or Berlin.
All I am asking you to do is to do just a little research before forwarding something along mindlessly. Quickly search on a piece of the text or the key words. Is it a virus warning? Look it up.
In fact, look, I’ll even help you! Search on these sites before forwarding it to me:
- Symantec: Virus, Spyware, Internet Protection | Security Response
- McAfee: Virus Information
- Trend Micro Virus Information
- US-CERT Current Activity
- IPA: Security Alert for Vulnerability
- Read more about computer viruses (and see the links at the bottom) in the Wikipedia article on Computer Virses
Isn’t it more satisfying to have some real knowledge instead of second-hand gossip?