How can I tell if a computer virus alert is a hoax?
The University Information Security Office (UISO) maintains links for some of the most current virus hoax warning sites. For these and other useful security-related sites, see Email Scams.
Another source for virus hoax information is the Total Defense Malware Encyclopedia.
Two key factors make a successful virus hoax: (1) technical-sounding language and (2) credibility by association. If the warning uses the proper technical jargon, even the technologically savvy can be fooled.
Nevertheless, if a virus alert you receive contains technical-sounding language and comes from a seemingly authoritative source, it may also be a true virus alert; for information, see What should I do if I receive a computer virus alert message via email?
Last modified on July 16, 2013.