December 04, 2008, 10:39 AM — Around the holiday, I always see more chain emails coming through from well-intended friends and relatives, and so itâ€™s time for an annual warning. Some of these chain emails just have interesting pictures, some make outrageous claims. A large majority of the latter are hoaxes.
A chain email is just like an old-fashioned chain letter. A message is sent to thousands of people, encouraging them all to â€œpass it onâ€, often because of either extreme cuteness, or because some bogus message is being trotted out as so incredibly important that recipients will see it as their duty to send it on to as many people as possible. Itâ€™s surprising too, how many intelligent and well-educated people actually take the bait, and send it on to everyone in their address book. Hereâ€™s a tip: Donâ€™t do it! Youâ€™re not going to win a prize from Microsoft. Youâ€™re not going to help a sick little girl, and youâ€™re not going to help your favorite cause. In most cases, all you will do is help spread misinformation. But even if on rare occasions the claim does turn out to be true, spreading it through chain emails is still not a good ideaâ€“first, because it does very little for whatever cause you may be trying to promote, and second, because there is a security risk involved. Read more>>