A computer hoax is any form of false material or act on the internet that is designed to fool or fraud the public. Most computer hoaxes are sent though email which is an easy, inexpensive, and effective way of spreading the information. Computer hoaxes could be in the form of chain letters, links to bogus websites, virus hoax or designed to extract money from you.
Some computer hoaxes lure readers with the promise of winning some money or capture their attention with false stories of needy people. These emails target innocent readers who want to either help someone in trouble or explore the chances of winning some easy cash. Sending money to strangers online is never a good idea, and innocent as the email may sound, these are common hoax emails intended to extract money from people unaware of this scam.
There are many computer virus hoaxes that appear to warn us against computer viruses. These emails are generally misleading and annoying. It is best to delete these emails without paying any attention to them. Some of these hoax emails might be virus or worms themselves that can damage your computer. It is best not to forward these annoying emails to anyone in your contact list.
A list of computer hoaxes include virus warning email, giveaway prizes email, give charity email, missing child email, chain letters and petitions, bad advise and bogus warning emails, prank email and funny emails.
Personally, I have also been in situations where I am tempted to click on a message warning me about spyware on my computer or entering a contest with promises of big prizes. It is annoying and time consuming to filter these messages from my inbox. I have learnt to avoid forwarding any chain letters and often remove these as spam from my folder. As for winning free stuff, it is a hard fact that we need to remember – nothing is free – so stop the urge to read hoax emails.
If the information pertains to something important, confirm from different sources before you act on an email. If a suspicious email has been forward from a friend’s account, ask the friend for conformation before you decide to take action. Never download from emails that look suspicious, or are forwarded to multiple senders. Above all, keep your computer free of viruses and spyware by installing anti virus software and regularly performing checks on your computer.