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PC Security - Virus Hoaxes

We all seem to live in fear of computer viruses, and this leaves us wide open for less than reputable people to play on those fears with virus hoaxes. A computer virus can cost a great deal of time, which may result in lost income, and of course programs that do not work. However, a hoax can be just as costly.

You've probably seen those emails warning you of a new virus. You may have seen such warnings on message boards and such as well. The message will tell you what a serious threat this virus is, and will advise you to spread the word about it by telling everyone you know. Because of this, virus hoaxes often circulate more widely than actual viruses do!

If you sent the message on to ten people, and each person sent to ten people, it would only take a matter of a couple of hours before there were ten million emails circulating with the virus hoax, even though the majority of the people warning others don't realize that it isn't a real virus! This 'notification' action itself clogs networks and slows the Internet down greatly! Servers and routers start crashing. Now, the 'threat' has turned into something very real.

People don't take the time to educate themselves before they start forwarding the message along. This is the biggest problem. For instance, there is a virus hoax that has been circulating since 1995! This hoax warns of a non-existent virus called Deeyenda, and even states that the FCC has issued warnings about it. The virus does not exist, and the FCC has issued no such warning about it, but this information could easily be proven false by visiting the FCC website and looking up information on it. In fact, the FCC doesn't issue virus warnings at all.

Some hoaxes get even more serious, in that they tell the user that they should immediately delete certain files from their system or that something terrible is going to happen. These files that are supposedly 'dangerous' are actually operating system files which will leave your system unusable until you reinstall the operating system.

The key to fighting virus hoaxes is to use common sense and educate yourself. Before you start forwarding information along, take the time to research the supposed threat. Some hoaxes will contain detailed technical information, most of which is impossible or downright false. Again, educate yourself, and learn the language!

If a real organization or company is mentioned in the 'warning' go to that company or organization's website and look for the information. If you don't find it, the chances are good that the email you received was a hoax.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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