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Virus Hoaxes

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Recently I have been receiving copies of circulated email to alert me (and
others) of impending doom from a computer virus. The message typical starts
with something like "Don't open mail with the words "Win a Holliday" or
"Good Times" or "Unable to Send"" in the subject line.
These well intended messages are in reality chain letters that get
circulated by unsuspecting recepients.

If you want the lowdown on Virus Hoaxes, take a look at
http://www.nonprofit.net/hoax/hoax.html .

The only virus that I know of that can be spread in a document is the Word
Macro Virus which is easily detected and is not destructive. In order to a
virus to work it must modify the code of another program, or corrupt the
information contained in the system files. This can only be done by a
program - not data.

Advice:
If your email contains an EXE file that you did not expect or do not
recognize it - don't open it. Some exe files are self-expanding Zip files,
but most file managers will detect this and allow you to view the content
without opening the file. "When in doubt - Trash it out".

Data files are any type of output that requires another program to read and
format it. For example a DOC file requires a Word Processor program. DWG
files require a Cad Drawing Program to view etc.

Do Not, I repeat, Not fear opening an email message. In one sense, this is
the virus - it creates fear in the user about reading their mail - nothing
more.

CAUTION:
Viruses don't spread by email, however they can spread on a floppy disk. I
have installed a virus protection on my computer and highly recommend them
for people that accept or transfer disks from one place to another. Once a
disk is infected, it can spread to a hard drive by accidently copying and
opening an infected file from a floppy or Zip disk. It can not infect while
sitting in the drive or by viewing the contents of data on the infected
disk - you must transfer information from an infected disk to one that is
clean. A good virus program will innoculate your system and inform you if a
virus is present. Most of these programs update their virus library every
month and provide the protection you need.

Yes, I have had viruses infect my system. The last one - New York Virus,
caused me to trash a hard drive. If I had known it was a virus that caused
my problems I would have saved three weeks work by simply running one of the
virus softwares. Most viruses do not destroy data, they simply attach
themselves to your program and cause it to crash. Therefore, stay protected
and let a good virus protection program run in the background of your
computer and forget about it.

Good luck
Dennis S. Wish PE

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