Checking FactsIf you read this page, you have some kind of Internet access. If you have Internet access, you probably have e-mail. If you have e-mail, you have undoubtedly received one or more (or dozens) of e-mails from well-intended friends containing a warning of some kind, about a dangerous file on your system, an unexpected attack in a mall parking lot, etc etc. I strongly hope that you have discovered some method for determining the relative validity of these warnings, and know to ignore most of them. If not, you might want to surf over to one of the following sites to learn more.
The first will take you to a reply by the Houston Chronicle to a letter from a reader about an alarming article allegedly published in the Chronicle, which she had learned about via an e-mail warning from a friend. This reply does a good job of describing the nature of an Internet hoax.
The subsequent links will take you to sites that operate solely to investigate and debunk Internet hoaxes, virus warnings and urban legends. Bookmark these sites so you can check your facts before sending out a needless alarm to everyone you know.
Houston Chronicle--On the Edge - January 9, 2000
Hoax Busters - the BIG LIST of Internet Hoaxes
The AFU & Urban Legends Archive
Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages