As a result of receiving yet another of these apparently helpful "pass it on to all of your contacts" e-mails the other day, I took it upon myself to check it out with a real computer expert. (Thanks Andrew) and while I was checking this one out, asked for a reliable way to find out about these things for myself in the future. Not unexpectedly, today's "Postcard virus warning" about a computer virus masquerading as a postcard from a friend or family member, did turn out to be just spam.
Along with this information, I received the following tried but true advice about how to check the validity of email warnings like this. "Ignore them, do not pass them on. Install a good anti-virus program that you trust, that gets updates daily from the mother ship. If you don't believe that they are keeping up to date with the set of viruses, replace it with another program."
This computer must be really really sick.
If still in doubt, check it out on the web at http://snopes.com. While on that website myself, I discovered a page of "urban legends" which apparently "compiles the 25 urban legends currently circulating most widely, as determined by frequency of access, user searches, reader e-mail, and media coverage". Very interesting.
I highly recommend this particular snopes.com site to the more gullible, so that they can avoid circulating any or all of these strange but untrue stories around the water cooler... or not, because some of them are at least good for a laugh.
And yes, the "Postcard virus warning" is once again on the snopes hit list, although it has been around as a number of variations for years... and never was as dangerous as it frequently purports to be.
Take care. It's a dangerous world out there!