Avoid Being Duped By Online Hoaxes

internet hoaxDuring our web surfing travels, we have all come across stuff that seems too good to be true, right? Is what you’re looking at the real deal? How can you be sure? You’ll want to learn how to spot the phonies, the fakes, and the downright silliest before you get bamboozled, if you’re concerned about your safety on the Web (and who isn’t).

Hoax scenario number one: Freebies How Fantastic

You’re offered a free computer from this website. After giving up your email address, phone number, and home address you are promised this computer once you have also answered a few questions.

So what’s the catch? Not only have you just given up your most precious asset on the Web – your privacy, but you have also opted in to a ton of shady advertising. So with this permission you have given them, get ready for a ton of junk mails, intrusive ads, and cold calls. What about that computer? It was never going to happen.

Here’s how to check out this hoax: First, let’s face it nobody is going to give out any high-ticket item such as a computer, without getting something in return. Next time use an anonymous email account or use BugMeNot to register anonymously.

Hoax scenario number two: The Hidden Virus

You receive an email about a news item, popular event, holiday, etc. that asks you to click on an attachment or video to see something truly spectacular. That new video of the President’s election speech is something you’d like to see again, right? So you click that link.

Here’s how to check out this hoax: There are many, MANY email scams that give you links to all sorts of great stuff on the Web..well, supposedly great stuff.

These tricks can however, cost you. Not only do you run the risk of downloading nasty viruses that can literally destroy your machine, but you also infect your computer with some pretty intrusive adware. Check out the excellent About Urban site and search for bogus emails, next time you receive something that has a link to something on the Web that you might be interested in.

Hoax scenario number three: Crazy Web Images

A photo of the world’s biggest dog? A picture of an amazing tsunami? They’re on the Web, so they have to be legit, right?

How to check out this hoax: There are two easy ways to check out the many images on the Web that aren’t real. One of the oldest Urban Legends sites on the web called Snopes, and of course the Urban Legends site I already sent you to before.

More information on checking out a hoax on the Web: You’re going to come across hoaxes on the Web as long as you are going to be surfing – it’s inevitable.