Or, why Snopes.Com is your friend

I get 'virus warning' forwards, both at work and at home, a lot. Every single time I do, I do a very simple thing; I search snopes.com (there's a firefox plugin to do so) with the keyword of the forwarded warning.

In this case, I searched for invitation. Virtually everyone I know gets one warning on it; if you don't know [livejournal.com profile] snopes_dot_com exists, you don't know to search. Once you know, if you forward something, you are teh soopid. Why does it matter?

Online hoaxes scare people unneccesarily

They make the 'net a "nastier" place. There are genuine things to worry about online. So worrying about hoaxes is a displacement. A distraction. Worry about genuine threats, trojan horses, hijackers, keyboard recorders, etc.

On the blog, we get occasional attempts to install spam comments. Contacts using other services, such as Wordpress, can keep track of where they're coming from. 90% of spam comments on blogs, and 90% of other spam, comes from home PCs that have been hijacked and send spam without the user knowing. That is a genuine problem. Is your PC secure, your firewall working, your antivirus up to date, your spyware protection on?

Worry about that. Next time you get a virus warning email forward, assume it's a hoax, and search snopes, mcafee or symantec sources first.

It makes the world a better place. If it is a hoax? Reply all, and let everyone know, pass on this message.

I'll stop preaching now. And yes, this is inspired by an email just sent by a nameless innocent who thought she was doing good who will likely read this.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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