This is my plea that when you receive an email urging you to do it, please don’t send it “to everyone you know.”

Emails that urge the recipient to pass the message on to everyone they know generally fall within 3 categories:

  1. Chain Letter
  2. Internet Hoax
  3. Warning/Safety issue which may actually fall into category 2.

1. Chain Letters.? These may be cute, they may be inspirational, but I bet you still might want to carefully consider who you send these out to.

2. There are hundreds of hoaxes and urban legends spread like wildfire by email.? Some of these hoaxes have been around nearly a decade, yet it seems impossible to kill them.

PLEASE check stories, warnings, sounds-too-good-to-be-true offers out on one of the many Hoax listing sites before you have that knee-jerk reaction to “send this to everyone you know.”

My favorite Hoax listing site is the CIAC’s Hoaxbusters at particularly encourage you to read the section titled The Risk and Cost of Hoaxes.  You can also check out the list maintained by Trend Micro.

3. Warnings/Safety issues.? These messages?try to appeal to you that “you may be saving the life of a loved one.”? Alot of times these fall into the #2 category, because they have been floating around for so long, the issue has been resolved or the concern no longer valid.??Be sure check the above hoaxbusters sites and perhaps just do a quick Google search to try to determine the age of the warning.? Again, some of these make the rounds for years when they are no longer relevant issues. How can you tell when a message that gets forwarded just says “last week there were 3 reported cases…”.? When was “last week”?? When a message continues to make the rounds on email it is impossible to tell.

So think hard before you add to the problem of the email avalanche we face today.