Have a nice day ' and don't forget to delete

Coda: Life is too short to serve as a vector for a virus hoax

The old tricks still seem to work. I recently received an e-mail from a supposed friend who thought she was passing on a warning about a new virus being spread through e-mails with 'have a nice day' in the subject line.

'I'm not sure if this is true, but I thought I'd pass it along,' she wrote to me ' and a few dozen of her closest friends.

Opening this e-mail would not only ruin my day but also my hard drive and, presumably, the rest of my life, according to the warning. The warning supposedly originated with Microsoft, which wanted everyone who got the message to forward it to as many people as possible.

I thought this trick had died out years ago, but apparently it still is being spread by the same people who think they are doing you a favor by forwarding collections of lame jokes and videos, usually without bothering to delete the accumulation of FW:FW:FW:FW: headers.

So apparently we need a refresher. First, neither Microsoft nor any other company wants you to forward e-mails with virus alerts. They have established channels for security alerts and fixes.

Second, if you receive an e-mail that has been forwarded more than once, delete it. If you receive an e-mail asking you to forward it to as many people as possible, delete it.

Life is too short to serve as a vector for a virus hoax.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.


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