It’s easy to become cynical about human nature if you’re fighting online criminals day-in-day-out, but the comforting truth is that that the vast majority of people are actually decent and well-meaning, and keen to help others if they think they can.
And it’s the desire to help others that all too often unwittingly perpetuates hoaxes and chain letters and helps them to spread.
Take, for the instance, the following photograph that has been shared widely on Facebook, claiming to be a “Red Alert” warning for computer users.
(Although it looks like a lump of text, it’s actually being shared in the form of a Facebook photo – which certainly makes it more dramatic, as the font is so large)
Of course, the warning is complete and utter balderdash.
There is no such virus, your hard disk is not going to be burnt, CNN has said no such thing, Microsoft has not classified any malware as “the most destructive virus that ever existed”, and as for the claims of hardware destruction… come on!
Read more in my article on the Naked Security website.