By Richard Medugno
Yup, you heard it here first. The Internet Police are going to start fining people who create or forward hoax emails. Well, it’s about time! The only thing better than a fine, would be to string hoax makers and spreaders up by their thumbs. In a previous blog, we listed the top 5 Internet hoaxes.
If you haven’t figured it out, I despise hoax emails with a passion once reserved only for boiled asparagus. Misinformation is a huge pain. And once something bogus goes viral, it takes 10 times the effort to correct the damage done. Note: that’s a just a random guess. I really have no idea how much extra effort is involved in fixing someone’s misunderstanding, let alone a large group of people.
What drives me crazy about hoax emails is that they are sent or forwarded to me by people in my life who should know better. Clearly, they’ve turned off their brain’s power to deduce real from fake. Why can’t they smell a scam that is sometimes so obvious you’d have to be a bucket of bolts not to notice? Well, it’s probably because the hoax appeals to a certain individual’s basis or a desire.
So Easy to Check
Another thing about getting hoaxes forwarded by family and friends that sends me ‘round the bend is that they are SO EASY to check. For goodness sakes, all you have to do is drop the subject line into a Google search box and within a split second, you’ll see multiple results with the words “hoax” and “scam” in them.
These kind of emails are no joking matter because they can contain viruses and other forms of malware that can lead to all kinds of uncool stuff happening to you and your computer. This form of spam, which I like to call “fram” because they come from “family and friends,” can also be part of a phishing attack that leads to identity theft.
I recommend a couple of websites where you can check if an email is a hoax before forwarding it to all your family and friends: hoax-slayer.com and Snopes.com. Too inconvenient to search for the results yourself? Use our free tool, Trend Micro Check, a one-stop solution to combat misinformation and scams!
Hoax Photo Quiz
And while you’re at, why not take the hoax photo quiz on UrbanLegends.About.com. See if you can beat me. I answered 42 items out of 60 correctly, which the site said was 70% and a “Good Job!”
P.S. There are no official Internet Police with the power to fine you…Just thought you should know. Feel free to share this blog with all the gullible ones in your personal network.
Click on the button below to try Trend Micro Check for free now: