David Papp Blog

Why Virus Hoaxes Are a Security Risk

Viruses, if left on your computer, can be detrimental to the overall performance of your computer. This is why most viruses are considered a major security risk. Is your computer operating slower than normal? Is it encountering a lot of errors when you open and close programs or documents? If so, then your computer may have a virus.

So how do you prevent viruses from infecting your computer? Install a reliable, effective virus scanner and run a scan for viruses regularly. Also, you should ensure that your virus scanner is updated and operating fully. But there are certain viruses that you can unknowingly invite into your computer.

Virus hoaxes are new and becoming more common. If you read information and articles on the Internet, then you may be aware of virus hoaxes. So what are they? Virus hoaxes are spread using emails that are designed to make you believe that your computer is infected with a virus even though it isn’t. Tricky, right?

Virus hoaxes are quite clever. They will normally tell you that your computer is infected with a virus. Not only that, the email or message will advise you that certain files need to be deleted. Usually, a list of instructions will specify how to delete this file which is essential to the optimal performance of your computer. Once these files are deleted, your computer may not turn on or function normally. Virus hoaxes work extremely well because most people are worried about viruses attacking their computer. This is how they lure you into believing the hoax.

Most of these hoaxes will expose your computer to a virus or they may tell you to download a virus scanner to help repair your computer. But they will do exactly the opposite. These virus scanners will simply add more viruses to your computer which will cause additional damage.

Delete or ignore any emails that tell you that your computer is infected. In most cases, it is a hoax virus email just waiting to infect your computer with a virus. Hoaxes can also pop up on websites that claim to scan your computer for viruses. Avoid these sites as much as possible. It is impossible for these sites to scan your computer unless you download a trusted scanner from an official website, such as McFee or Norton.

Also, if you ever receive emails telling you that you need to send the message to other people, then you will know that it is a hoax. This is called a chain letter. To ensure that virus hoaxes don’t work their way into your computer, be aware of any messages or emails that you may receive and read them very carefully. Your computer’s life depends on it.

11 thoughts on “Why Virus Hoaxes Are a Security Risk”

  1. I have never gotten a virus from an e-mail. My advice is to NEVER open an e-mail from someone you do not know. Also even if you know the person, don’t open the e-mail if it looks out of the ordinary for them. For example, sometimes people’s e-mail accounts get hacked/phished and they send out e-mails automatically from that account. If the title of the e-mail is something like, “hey guess what!”, you know that is fake. Most my friends don’t even send e-mails, so any e-mail would be suspicious for me.

    You just have to be cautious online, but if you use some common sense like in real life you will be fine.

  2. This is very helpful. It is easy to fall victim, to these hoaxes, especially when protecting your computer is so important. I find the best way is to make sure your computer is safe, is to buy software and use that. This will tell you if you have a virus or not, and will clean it up for you. Also you can automatically, de fragment, and clean your history to help your computer.

  3. It’s terrible to see that some people have to prey on the vulnerable and tell them they have a virus when they don’t. This tricks people into downloading an actual virus onto their computer. I would definitely suggest installing virus software.

  4. Yeah, if it’s from someone I don’t know, I check it and verify that it is spam. I’ve always been wary of the internet so that definitely helps. Plus, I run my antivirus and its update on schedule just to be safe. I’ve also educated my father on these things because there are ads that are like virus-hoaxes. One can never be too careful with the internet.

  5. I had not seen the virus hoax emails. That is quite insidious! I have never downloaded anything from emails, as I have not only learned not to do it, I have also known people who were not so fortunate and did wind up downloading something that did harm to their computers in some way.

    As for protection against viruses I rely solely on my firewall and anti-virus software. I have seen those free software downloads that claim they can rid your computer of viruses, malware, spyware, etc. I don’t trust them or see any need for them. I’ve heard that some of these software downloads are actually spyware themselves.

  6. Those things are the reason why you let your email service do the spam sorting for you, and you leave ad block on at all times. I’ve seen enough times people downloading malware thinking that Google Chrome (which updates by itself), needs a new update or whatever.

  7. This scam is also common with cold-calling. What’ll happen are people in call centers overseas, usually India, will cold-call and act as though they’re a Microsoft representative, and then try to get you to install remote control software like Ammyy admin or TeamViewer. After they get you to do so, they’ll try to copy over data files that may contain sensitive info. It’s evil, especially because so much of our population is computer-illiterate.

  8. More recently these virus hoaxes appear to be coming from the outside of the mail inbox. Targeted ads are creating inbox-like messages that will open a pop-up window from where you could download or upgrade your software. The pop-up is usually a real pop-up window, but the software is fake, and so is the entire advertisement. It appears to me that fake softwares are generating more alerts than the real ones. However, I’m not sure that if we were more computer literate, these alerts would appear less.

  9. I have never received that kind of e-mails, but if I did right now I’d know what to do 🙂 But if I had received that kind of e-mail when I was younger, then it’s very likely I’d have done as they say in the e-mail. After all I was kinda naive when I was a teen and had almost zero experience with computers 😛 Plus I didn’t really read this kind of blogs, glad I do now 🙂

    Very useful info! Just because it hasn’t happened yet, it doesn’t mean it will not happen in the future. Better be safe than sorry.

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