Virus Definitions Up-to-Date?

We recommend that everyone have an up to date anti-virus package installed on their system at all times.

Keeping your anti-virus program up to date is essential. Symantec and McAfee both release frequent updates (free), be sure to install these updates to keep your protection current against new viruses.

Windows Updates Current?

Is it a virus? Many problems attributed to viruses are the results of Operating System errors.

Microsoft has released several critical updates for Windows. These updates address Year 2000 and security issues. We encourage everyone to keep their computers updated with the latest patches. These patches are free to download and install at
Click on "Product Updates".
Check all "critical" updates.
Click "Download".
Click "Start Download".
You may need to repeat these steps, some updates cannot be installed at the same time.


Active Viruses

 The following information is from, the makers of Norton anti-virus.  It shows the latest viruses, the most active viruses and removal tools.


Is it really a Virus?

There are many viruses circulating the internet, and just as many hoaxes. The hoaxes are harmless, except, when you have 500,000+ emails it does tend to use up bandwidth. We encourage everyone who receives a virus warning to take it seriously, but before forwarding it to others, check it for validity. Some excellent sources for virus hoaxes are:


Common Hoax Characteristics

Without researching the factual claims made in a forwarded email there's no 100% sure way to tell it if it's a hoax, but here you'll find common signs to watch for...

Here's How:

  1. Note whether the text was actually written by the person who sent it to you. If not, be skeptical.
  2. Look for the telltale phrase, "Forward this to everyone you know."
  3. Look for statements like "This is not a hoax" or "This is not an urban legend." They usually mean the opposite of what they say.
  4. Look for overly emphatic language, the frequent use of UPPERCASE LETTERS and multiple exclamation points!!!!!!!
  5. If the message seems geared more to persuade than to inform, be suspicious. Hoaxers are out to push emotional buttons.
  6. If the message purports to give you extremely important information that you've never heard of before or seen elsewhere in legitimate sources, be suspicious.
  7. Read carefully and think critically about what the message says, looking for logical inconsistencies, violations of common sense and obviously false claims.
  8. Look for subtle or not-so-subtle jokes, indications that the author is pulling your leg.
  9. Check for references to outside sources. Hoaxes will not typically name any, nor link to Websites with corroborating information.
  10. Check to see if the message has been debunked by Websites that cover Internet hoaxes (see below).


Virtually any chain email you receive (i.e., any message forwarded multiple times) is more likely to be false than true. Be skeptical.

Hoaxers usually try every means available to make their lies believable -- e.g., mimicking a journalistic style, attributing the text to a "legitimate" source, etc.

Be especially wary of health-related rumors. Most importantly, never act on such rumors without first verifying their accuracy with your doctor or other reliable source.

This advice courtesy of




Copyright 2001 All rights reserved.