It’s strange how seemingly insignificant incidents can have a profound effect on your life. Back in 2002, I was still pretty new to computers and the Internet. So, when I got an email urgently warning me about a dangerous computer virus lurking in a “very cute screensaver of the Budweiser Frogs”, I dutifully sent it off to everyone in my address book. After all, so I thought at the time, the information had been announced by none other than software giant Microsoft and the message implored me to send it on to everyone I know.
Of course, the warning turned out to be just another silly virus hoax, like many others that have circulated before and since. A kind contact politely let me know that the message was a hoax. The experience got me intrigued – and a little embarrassed – so I started researching any suspect email forwards that came my way before I sent them on. Inevitably, quite a few turned out to be hoaxes and I was able to let people know the truth about them.
After a while, friends and family began sending me emails to “check” for them. The concept for Hoax-Slayer began there. In 2003, I started a Yahoo email discussion group that focused on Internet hoaxes and scams. Soon after, I created an early version of the Hoax-Slayer website as a support site for the Yahoo group. Later, I closed the group to concentrate on the Hoax-Slayer site and newsletter.
Nowadays, Hoax-Slayer consumes a great deal of my time and the project is very important to me. So, if I hadn’t received that silly old virus hoax, perhaps my life might have been quite different today. But, I’m really glad that I did get that email. I love what I do!
So, all in all, thanks, Mr Budweiser Frog, goodonya, mate! (The beer’s not bad either!)