This week’s Peter’s Wife is going to be a bit different. Many of you are fairly new to the Internet and I have come across some interesting and helpful information for you.
We will all receive email chain letters. Some of these are the same as we used to receive by mail, recipe chains or post cards or ‘hugs.’ Now we can receive prayer requests, virus warnings, and freebie offers by email. The directions below should help you to sort out truth from hoax.
- Is it a mass mailing? If the email has been cc’d to more than 100 people, it is suspect. Also, if the email displays showing it has been forwarded several times before you received it, this should alert you to a possible hoax.
- Check the source. Does it have an author and a working email address or web site? If not, don’t forward it. If so, yet the content sounds questionable, then write the source and verify it. If you don’t get a reply or if the site is bogus, delete it.
- What’s the purpose? Will it actually make a difference if I forward it? If it’s a prayer request, make sure it meets the ‘completion test’ below.
- When is it complete? How will we know when it’s complete? Does it have a cut-off date?
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Below are some sites that have current and up-dated information about chain letters and hoaxes currently circulating.Urban Legends
Before you send a prayer request or an urgent news update, make sure it passes these tests. If it doesn’t, please don’t forward it to others.
Here are some ‘rules’ that will help you avoid computer viruses.
- Delete suspect email as soon as you receive it. Don’t open it!
- Don’t open any email that includes an attachment that ends in .vbs .com or .exe.These files can have a virus that will put you out of commission for a while.
- As a general rule, don’t open ANY attachment unless you have requested it. Even if it is from a friend, they may not have been careful about where they got the attachment. Viruses piggy back on attachments. Merely delete it before clicking it open. You can always write to the friend and find out more about the attachment and ask them to resend it if you have questions about its importance. Better safe than sorry!