Debunking Web, Internet and Urban Legends

Many, many years ago, when I first started using the web, it was via one of those AOL CDs and my first web account.  One day I had received an email about something, I don't recall what.  BUt it panicked this new web surfer and with my best intentions, I grabbed every single person's email address that I had and forwarded this incredibly critical warning.

Everyone must be apprised of this terrible situation that lurked in the darkest digital corners of the web!  I must crush this binary threat!

Within five minutes, my boss replied to my well-meaning email to let me know what I just sent out was wrong.  And in so many polite words, (or I was reading between the lines), called me pretty stupid.

Since that one moment, I never forwarded another stupid, baseless email rumor.

Over the years, I've gently did the same that my boss did for me that one day so long ago.  One or two folks seem to not take heed of checking their sources or information, but for the most part, most of my friends are much the wiser.

(The ones that continued to send out baseless warnings got themselves their own email forwarding filter and their emails end up in their own folder outside my inbox.  I don't want to lose their messages, but 99.99% of their messages are those hollow warnings.)

But that daring day, when I felt like a fool, I learned.

I learned to use websites like Snopes, Urban Legends, TruthOrFiction, or About Urban Legends, Hoaxbusters, and a few other sites.  (It never hurts to have more than one source to tap.)

So the next time you see a horrifying internet warning...  play it safe and verify the info first before passing on the good-intentioned word!

sources: .techrepublic., .similarsitesearch.

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