Saturday, April 18, 2009

Take a deep breath before passing on an e-mail

Yes, this is one of those posts where I vent about something that annoys me.

A very good, long time friend this morning passed on an e-mail that was largely inaccurate. It claimed that Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Australia made a speech saying he wanted Muslims out of Australia. I Googled this with the word "HOAX" appended to it and immediately I saw this was something that has been circulating the Internet for years now and it was in fact mostly inaccurate, particularly in the context given. They also suspect the reason it is circulating again is to stir up feelings of hate and racism! This can be seen at this page here.

I get many mails from friends and family of this nature and most of them are spam or scams, so I ask you to please, take a deep breath before passing on an email.

Yes! Just take a moment and think about it! Do a little research! Take the subject matter and put it in text quotes, go to Google, enter it and put +hoax or +scam after it (with a space in between the closing text quote) and make sure this is not one of countless hoaxes that have been circulating the Internet for years!

This is a pet peeve of mine as I get a ton of mail like this both from people I know and many I have never heard from. So, be responsible and use some common sense when dealing with your e-mail such as:
  • If you do not know the person sending you the mail, delete it!
  • If there is an attachment and you have any doubt whatsoever of it's content delete it!
  • Make sure you have anti virus software installed and something that scans for Trojans as well. Drop me an e-mail if you need recommendations as there are plenty of free programs out there. Set them to update automatically.
  • Make sure, particularly if using Windows, to have security patches installed automatically.
  • If your e-mail has a spam filter, turn it on.
Use common sense because:
  • NO ONE is sending you a million dollars from Nigeria!
  • The windowed wife of some foreign country's ruler is not sending you his fortune!
  • Bill Gates is NOT sharing his fortune with you!
  • IBM and Intel are not giving away millions to you!
  • You did NOT NOT NOT win the United Kingdom Lottery you never entered!!!!
  • Just because the message starts with "This was certified by 'insert various hoax site name here'" does NOT mean it really was! Go to the hoax site and check it out or Google it above!
  • If it sounds to good to be true it most likely is not true!
  • If you forward the e-mail on to 2,4,6,8,or 12 of your friends you will NOT become rich, meet the person of your dreams, or have your deepest desire fulfilled! you will NOT cure cancer either for that matter.
  • If you forward the e-mail on to 2,4,6,8,or 12 of your friends, there's a good chance you will annoy 2,4,6,8,or 12 of your friends and then cause them to annoy 2,4,6,8,or 12 of their friends. At the very worst you are helping to spread ill will, hate, and racism and other karma impacting things to others.
OK, Stepping down off my metaphorical soapbox I am done ranting and raving now but this sort of thing just annoys me because if people were more careful there would be less spam and less scams....and the Internet would be a faster and safer place for all!


Bev from PA said...


I bow to your eloquence.

Chris said...

Bev, thanks much! It is amazing how much common sense people can lack! I mean if the mailman delivered a ticking package oozing white powder that had "FREE! Fabulous Prize!" stamped on it, would you take it in your house??

Bev from PA said...

No but all those email forwarders would:)

I've even tried getting my friend to NOT list my email except in bcc. She can't figure it out with strict instructions. sigh

David Louis Harter said...


While the advice it good, do not be overly anticipatory of readers following it!

I have given similar advice for decades, and I have not seen a significant lessening of such emails in my inbox.

- David