Urban Legends

In the past few days, I’ve had well-meaning friends and strangers forward on messages and postings from Andy Rooney, George Carlin and John Cleese. None of them were really from those authors. Check out http://www.snopes.com before sending along such silly stuff.

Far more seriously, an associates spouse sent on a warning and instructions on how to remove a virus that had somehow infected his computer. It was also a hoax, but a destructive one, with bogus instructions that removed the Java debugging manager from the machine. Folks, if you get a warning telling you to do something to your machine that you don’t really understand, here’s what you should do: check it out. Search Google for it. Check out the virus sites (http://www.symantec.com, http://www.antivirus.com, http://www.mcafee.com) for it. Call a knowledgable friend. Don’t just blindly pass on instructions you don’t understand. If you got an anonymous call telling you to shake up a seltzer bottle and unload it into your fuse box, you probably wouldn’t blindly obey. THINK.

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This work by Ted Roche is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States.