Monday, November 21, 2005

Bedevil Others With Hoaxes

Almost as widespread as actual viruses are stories of viruses that don’t really exist. If you use email, you probably see evidence of hoaxes regularly because the hoax formula is typically consistent. According to HoaxBusters3, successful hoaxes typically include technical-sounding details and credibility by association, and they have three recognizable parts: a hook, a threat, and a request (which is usually to send it to everyone you know).
Curiously, hoaxes can be just as damaging as viruses because they clog networks and steal time from workers who read the messages. Most emails following the aforementioned formula are indeed hoaxes, but check a credible source such as Symantec’s Hoaxes Web Page4 or Vmyths.com5 before disregarding the messages or forwarding them to others.

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