I Always Wanted To Know:
Why Shouldn’t You Believe Anything On The Web April 1st?
April Fool’s Day, April 1st, is the official prank and joke day of the year. It’s a day when even the most mundane office co-worker becomes the office prankster looking to trick someone. This used to be a mild annoyance for people, but with the rise of the Internet it’s become a real dangerous day for misinformation and potentially dangerous scams. Some fake news postings will cause people to panic, fake deals or sales will be offered by scammers in the hopes of stealing information, and false information will be distributed to worry or confuse people.
So how do you protect yourself and distinguish fact from April Fool’s Day trickery? Here are a few tips:
If it’s too good to be true: If something is too good to be true, it probably is. No one is giving away millions of dollars, the new prince of a small island nation doesn’t need your help with banking and you aren’t going to get an iPad if you just sign-up for 3 special offers.
If the news is too amazing: If the news article you’re reading on April 1st is too amazing to be true, then wait until April 2nd to see if it’s reprinted. Popular Internet hoaxes from previous years are stories like “Apple to stop selling iPods” and “Microsoft to deactivate Windows,” but the more outlandish the story the less likely it is to be true.
If you don’t know just ask: This one seems obvious but I once worked at a cellular phone dealer and had a customer demand to cancel their service because calls to the next state would be considered international long distance… on April 1st. If your thinking maybe this rumor could be true just call the company but expect to be told “you got tricked” or “that’s an April Fool’s Day joke.”
Try to have a sense of humor: This might be the most helpful of all since it can save you embarrassment and frustration. If you do get tricked by something innocent just smile and laugh it off. No harm (your pride doesn’t count) no foul is a good way to think of it.
Do you have a general technology or electronics question you always wanted to know like “How does a Microwave work?” or “Why do LED’s last so long?” Write me at Tim@WorldStart.com and your question may be answered in an upcoming “I Always Wanted To Know.” For specific computer support questions ask our writers by clicking here.