I recently received an email addressed to myself and half of the western world. It began “URGENT!!! PLEASE CIRCULATE to your friends…..” before going on to describe an attachment which would “burn the whole hard disk C of your computer”.
It’s not the first time of course and it won’t be the last time – I’m sure many of you have had these. Nine times out of 10 they turn out to be rubbish and this was no exception. http://www.hoax-slayer.com/black-in-white-house-virus-hoax.shtml
That in itself is not a problem – that’s why we have DELETE keys. Where the PROBLEM lies is this… in sending to countless people in the TO: field, you ensure that each of those people now has the email address of all the others. MORE’S THE POINT, any of those people might have a trojan on their computers, harvesting email addresses – after all, you have no control over the anti-virus or lack of it on their computers! If any ONE of them has such a problem – you’re now on a LIST somewhere.
The solution is simple… in the case of those sending out such messages – having been THEMSELVES the recipient of said message – CHECK before you send the message out – go to GOOGLE and key in the main phrase, perhaps it’s a hoax. If, after all that you still want to enlighten your friends, send a copy to YOURSELF and BLIND-CC everyone else – i.e. BCC field. All email programs have this. That way, the recipients DO NOT get a copy of everyone else’s email – and you don’t risk being very unpopular as the person who’s action put them on a mailing list!