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Topic 37

Avoid Mental Viruses

Mental Viruses, thats what I call them, because they spread from email account to email account by taking advantage of people's fear. By now you might have got idea on what this topic is about. Yes, this is about avoiding emails that contain ludicrous messages and at the end warn us to send them to other people otherwise something bad is going to happen. Some others contain messages that you will get money if you forward this email, and something like that.

One should realise it is utter foolishness in believing such messages. They are just prepared some foolish people who don't know how to make good use of their computer. They are just like pranks to which people will easily fall prey to.

Practical evidence showed that these are totally stupid emails and nothing bad happens if we delete those messages without forwarding to anyone else. I was also a victim of such emails and had some very sleepless nights as I read them and don't want to forward them but also couldn't control my fear. The message said that if that is not forwarded to other people in so and so seconds illfate will follow.

I couldn't forward that message as I know that it is stupid also I couldn't be peaceful as the message was so daunting. But I got over with it and proved that this is totally rubbish but not forwarding it and any other such email after that to anyone else.

Once it so happened that one such type of email forwarded by one of my friends ended up in the mailbox of the person who actually generated it. It said that Microsoft will pay us for every forwarding of this email. I dashed up my friend in persuading him not to believe such things and he too agreed that realising that he forwarded that message back to where it originated from.

So it is just some useless bunch of idiots who does this. Everyone can safeluy ignore them and do not forward them and hurt others. Inspite send an offending reply to the one whom you received from and suggest not to believe in such things.

I will give a practical example. A month ago I received an email from one of my friends (actually it was sent to our friends' yahoo group) with an image of some unknown fakir (who lives on alms) and a message that it is the original yet undiscovered photo of Shri Shirdi Saibaba and that this message has to be forwarded to other people immediately and otherwise something bad is going to happen.
I got irritated with this message and lanched an email complaint against it to the Executive Officer, Shirdi. They had realised the nature of that email and took appropriate action. They had actually took that photograph from the email that I had sent them and displayed on their 'Devotees Appeal' page on Shirdi Sai Sansthan's web site for public information.

So, it is my message to everyone that do not encourage such type of emails which easily pass from mind to mind inaddition to mailbox to mailbox. First if you realise that the message is of that sort, just delete it and do not read it. That gives you peace of mind. I do this all the time. If you accidently read it then there is nothing to worry, that message can be safely discarded and deleted. If you think that irrated you in anyway try to launch a complaint against it to respective authorities. But be careful as sometimes these complaints can go to very greater extent in the Information Laws. Still, try to avoid such type of messages which I call as Mental Viruses.

V Rama Aravind.
Posted on:2006-11-08.

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