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Hoaxes, Scams, Myths, Chain Letters, Spam, Lies & etc.

Other people have done a good job of covering these subjects, so I will only speak briefly about them, and present links to other webpages that talk about the subjects.

Bruce's Rules

Number 1 Rule: Number 2 Rule:
Always verify the claims in an e-mail before you even think of forwarding the e-mail to anyone!  If you can not (or will not), verify the content, do not forward it!
If you forward the e-mail without verifying it, you run the risk of annoying everyone you forward the e-mail to, and YOU end up looking foolish.
Never run/execute a program file that you have received from someone, even a friend, until you scan the program file with anti-virus & anti-spyware, and are otherwise sure that it is safe.  This is how computer viruses are activated.
You cannot activate a computer virus just by reading your e-mail, unless your e-mail program is set to automatically execute program files that are attached to e-mail.  Unfortunately, Microsoft's Outlook Express does this automatically.  I recommend you use any e-mail program other than one made by Microsoft.
Number 3 Rule: Number 4 Rule:
If you are interested in reducing the amount of spam that you receive, DO NOT RESPOND directly to a spammer's E-mail address or remove address.
They want you to think you will be removed from the mailing list.  You WON'T.  This is usually a tactic for verifying genuine E-mail addresses that these unscrupulous individuals collect for further use or even sell to other spammers.  You can't believe anything they say.  If you respond to a spammer you can guarantee that you will begin to receive even more spam.
If you send spam yourself, expect to be ostracized.
Spam:  Unsolicited Bulk E-mail.  To send copies of the same e-mail to large numbers of people who did not ask you to do so.
People spam the Internet to advertise products as well as to broadcast some political or social commentary.

CFD (Compulsive Forwarding Disorder)

Mass e-mailing of useless/stupid e-mail causes problems for everyone:

  1. Breakdowns of mail servers, and whole computer systems because of overload of e-mail.
  2. Increased costs to every company that runs a mail server, because they have to cope with the large amount of useless e-mail.
  3. Individual Internet users can potentially lose good e-mail, because the amount of server space allotted to them by their ISP (Internet Service Provider), can be filled with useless e-mail.
  4. Individual Internet users end up spending a great deal of time determining whether an e-mail is useless or not, then having to delete them.  Some people may only receive two or three useless e-mails a day, but there are many people who will receive dozens, or even hundreds of them every day.

Urban Legends, Hoaxes, Myths, Lies, Chain Letters, etc.

Scams & Fraud

Protect yourself from Malware/Badware (bad software)

Malware or Badware are general terms to describe or identify computer programs or apps that generally do bad things.  Wikipedia: Malware

I recommend using these two web browser add-ons:

Virus Hoax Info

Real Virus & Anti-Virus Info

Is the business you are dealing with safe?

The first step to deciding whether a business is safe to deal with, is to check them out with the Better Business Bureau.

Avoiding & Fighting Spam (Unsolicited Bulk E-mail)

Public Service Notice: Check the e-mail in your Spam/Junk folder!  You may have lost important e-mails because you didn't!

The links below are for spam fighters.  For the average person, just make use of the spam filters available to you from your e-mail provider, and please check your Spam/Junk folder regularly.

Internet guidelines and policies

WHOIS Information

Learn who owns a website or an IP


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