ARCHIVED: How can I tell if a computer virus alert is a hoax?

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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 & Phishing Scams.

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 If you receive a computer virus alert message via email.

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Last modified on 2018-05-07 14:42:12.

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