New viruses are appearing every day - and so are virus hoaxes! Here's a little background on these hoaxes so you won't unknowingly spread them.
Real viruses areexecutable programs that either attach themselves to the boot sector of your hard drive or to particular program files or documents. Viruses are usually transmitted as an attachment to a message. Virus hoaxes are usually text e-mails that say something like "don't read this message or you will lose all your data."
These virus hoaxes are designed to fool less technically-savvy computer users. The authors make the threats sound very serious and they instruct you to warn all of your friends too to the dangers of this terrible virus. So you send the warning message to twelve of your dearest friends and they send it to a dozen or so of their friends and so on. The hoax is now spreading across the country and is sucking up precious network resources. Of course, this is just what the prankster wants to happen.
The text of these e-mails sounds extremely serious, though. One of the hoaxes quotes the Center for Internet Security and another says the "FCC has released a warning" about a threatening virus. This information is not true, so please don't be fooled. Listed below are the names of virus hoaxes that have been discovered so far (compiled from the McAfee and Symantec Virus Research sites) :
Delete any messages containing the hoaxes listed above and DO NOT forward them to anyone. You will only propagate the hoax.
But before you get too complacent, be reminded that there are real, destructive viruses out there. You should have either Norton Anti-Virus or McAfee VirusScan loaded on your PC. Please make sure that your PC is either scanned on boot-up or that you scan manually at least once a week. Viruses spread quickly so you want to make sure your files are clean before passing them on.
Also remember to update your virus definition files. HUH? What are virus definition files, you say? Each month the anti-virus companies release updates to their software so they can detect new viruses or new strains of existing viruses. It is important to keep your virus definitions up-to-date or newer viruses may be able to infect your files. When new definition files are available from the vendors, obtain copies of them and put on your PC so you can update your anti-virus software.
If you receive an e-mail about a new virus and you are
unsure whether it's a hoax or not,
Then SHE will post a warning, if needed.