Virus Hoaxes - are YOU infected?

by Josh Emsley

In this day and age we have many reasons to believe that we just might have a virus. In the past we only had to make sure our anti-virus software was up-to-date and if by some fluke chance we contracted a virus that was new and undetectable to virus software we needed to contact our anti-virus software makers to let them know and receive their experience and technical aptitude in solving our virus problem.

Now-a-days there is a new kind of problem cropping up, and it’s becoming more and more common. Virus hoaxes are a well-known catch phrase and you might have heard of them in the news or read about them somewhere on-line. A virus hoax is most commonly spread in the form of e-mail and is designed to make the receiver of the email to believe that their computer security has been compromised.

Most commonly the email will tell the recipient that their computer is infected with a virus and they must delete “such and such a file”. Step-by-step instructions are usually included and if the person reading the email is fooled, a file crucial to their computers operations can be deleted. There are many that will try to play on the fear factor and get you to send them your login information to verify your identity as well.

There are usually very easily spotted warning signs common to all hoax emails that you should know about. The first sign that usually gives the hoax away completely is the request in the email for you to “send this email to everyone you know”. No credible source will ask you to send the email to all the people you know. Secondly the email will be trying to sound credible and technical. By saying that their email has been provided by a well-known authority on viruses and providing links to that site, a lot of people will be more likely to believe the email. Check the site that is linked to, if you get a generic homepage for say.. Mcafee or Symantec, you more than likely have a hoax. Generally a well-known corporation will have specific information linked in their warning email.

Another way to make sure you are not being hoaxed is to check the major sites of virus and security to see if the email you’ve received has been indexed as being a hoax. McAfee and Symantec both have pages dedicated to hoaxes. As well there are other sites loaded with info to check out for virus hoaxes.

Most of all it’s just a good idea to take a sceptical eye when reading anything you receive on the internet. Just because something has been written down/typed out and hailed as truth, does not mean it is so. Keep your eyes open and your computer virus-free.

About the Author
Josh is the owner of New User Help, a website which offers a free 3 step solution finder that’s guaranteed to get you answers.

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