Lately I've been receiving more virus warnings than I personally care to. While I can certainly appreciate other users taking the time to raise the "red flag" when a virus threat appears, unfortunately, these warnings are generally hoaxes.

What these messages have in common (and should thus raise your suspicions) is that they describe some awful sounding virus, usually labeled as the worst threat yet.

Additionally, these warnings often claim that anti-virus software cannot detect the threat and then they suggest that you forward a copy of the email to everyone in your address book.

Which is exactly what many people do.

While it's usually the thought that counts, forwarding hoaxes throughout the Internet isn't helping anyone. So, the next time you receive such a warning, and before you forward it on to your friends, check the major anti-virus software vendor's web sites to see if the threat is legitimate, or just another hoax.

The references that I personally use are:

Each of these sites has a section devoted specifically to identifying virus hoax messages.

Interestingly enough, I also receive many email messages that do carry actual viruses within, and almost never receive warnings about these legitimate threats.


Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale