Apr 10 2023

Cyber Dawg

How can you protect yourself from internet hoaxes?

So, what do we mean when we talk about internet hoaxes? Well, in this context ’re mostly talking about the pesky scams that regrettably have become our staple of our email inboxes.

Often, at first glance, these deceptive correspondences appear to be from trusted companies whose services we use, such as Amazon, Apple, or Microsoft.

But upon closer inspective, it (hopefully!) becomes clear, thanks to the email address, poor spelling, or inaccuracy of the information provided, that it is indeed an internet hoax.

And like it or not, the internet has become an essential part of most of our daily lives, and with it comes the inevitable risk of internet hoaxes.

Internet hoaxes meaning false or misleading information that is spread through the internet with the intent to deceive people. They can come in various forms, such as fake news, phishing emails, social media scams, and many others.

This can cause severe consequences

Such as financial loss, damage to reputation, and identity theft. Therefore, it is essential to know how to protect yourself from internet hoaxes. In this article, we will discuss some tips on how to protect yourself from internet hoaxes, whilst hopefully providing you with a few laughs in the process.

First off, let’s get the serious stuff out of the way and then we’re going to do our very own Gone Phishing, rundown of THE BEST INTERNET HOAXES OF ALL TIME. Not the scam kind; the good kind! The kind that often take place on April 2nd and make you laugh, not cry. Sound good? Good.

Anyway, onwards and upwards…

Here are our TOP TIPS to protect yourself from internet hoaxes (SCAMS!!):   

Verify the source of information:

One of the essential steps in protecting yourself from internet hoaxes is to verify the source of the information. Always check the credibility of the website or the person sharing the information. Some websites have a reputation for spreading false information, so be careful about the sources you trust.

You can use fact-checking websites to verify the accuracy of the information. Fact-checking websites such as Snopes, FactCheck.org, and PolitiFact are excellent resources for verifying the accuracy of information. You can also check the website’s URL to ensure it’s a reputable source.

Be cautious of unsolicited emails

Phishing emails are a common form of internet hoaxes. They are designed to look like legitimate emails from reputable sources, such as banks, government agencies, or companies. The goal of these emails is to steal your personal information, such as your login credentials or credit card information.

To protect yourself from phishing emails, be cautious of unsolicited emails. Do not click on links or download attachments from emails that you do not trust. Always double-check the sender’s email address and look for any grammatical errors or spelling mistakes.

Use strong passwords

Using strong passwords is an essential step in protecting yourself from internet hoaxes. Strong passwords include a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Avoid using easily guessable passwords, such as your birthdate or your name.

You should also avoid using the same password for multiple accounts. If a hacker manages to get hold of one password, they can use it to access your other accounts.

Be careful on social media

Social media is a breeding ground for internet hoaxes. Scammers use social media to spread fake news and phishing links. They also use social media to create fake profiles and pose as someone else to scam people.

To protect yourself on social media, be cautious of the links you click on and the information you share. Do not accept friend requests from people you do not know and report any suspicious behaviour to the social media platform.

Install antivirus software

Installing antivirus software is an essential step in protecting yourself from internet hoaxes. Antivirus software can detect and block malware, viruses, and other malicious software that can harm your computer or steal your personal information.

Make sure to keep your antivirus software up to date to ensure it can detect the latest threats.

Educate yourself on common internet hoaxes

Education is the best defence against internet hoaxes. Educate yourself on the common internet hoaxes and how to recognize them. This will help you avoid falling victim to these scams.

There are many resources available online that can help you learn more about internet hoaxes. You can also attend workshops or seminars on internet security to learn more about protecting yourself from internet hoaxes.

To summarise, protecting yourself from internet hoaxes requires vigilance and awareness. Always verify the source of the information, be cautious of unsolicited emails, use strong passwords, be careful on social media, install antivirus software, and educate yourself on common internet hoaxes. By following these steps, you can protect yourself from internet hoaxes and enjoy a safe and secure online experience.

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Okay, now that you’re all clued up on protecting yourself from internet hoaxes, let’s take a minute to discuss the other kind of internet hoaxes, I.e., the fun kind! So, here we go:

  1. The Nigerian Prince Scam – This is a classic internet hoax that has been around for years. It involves an email from a wealthy Nigerian prince who needs your help to transfer a large sum of money out of the country.
  2. The Rickrolling Meme – Rickrolling is a prank that involves sending someone a link that they think is relevant to what they are searching for, but instead, it takes them to the music video for Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
  3. The Cinnamon Challenge – This is a viral video challenge that involves attempting to swallow a spoonful of cinnamon without any water. It’s a dangerous and painful hoax that has resulted in many injuries.
  4. The 419 Eater – This is a website dedicated to scamming the scammers. The site’s owner would pretend to be a gullible victim and waste the scammer’s time by leading them on with elaborate stories.
  5. The Balloon Boy Hoax – This hoax involved a family claiming that their young son was trapped inside a helium balloon that had accidentally flown away. The entire nation watched as rescue crews scrambled to save the boy, only to find out later that it was all a hoax.

What did you think of the 5 above?, well we have another 5 below.

  1. The Lonelygirl15 Hoax – Lonelygirl15 was a YouTube series that featured a teenage girl named Bree who claimed to be documenting her life through vlogs. However, it was later revealed that Bree was actually an actress and the entire series was scripted.
  2. The Flat Earth Conspiracy – This hoax involves the belief that the earth is flat and not round. Despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary, many people still believe in this conspiracy theory.
  3. The Death Hoax – There have been numerous death hoaxes involving celebrities, politicians, and other public figures over the years. These hoaxes usually involve fake news reports that the person has died, which spreads rapidly across social media.
  4. The Manti Te’o Girlfriend Hoax – Manti Te’o was a college football player who claimed to have a girlfriend who died of leukaemia. However, it was later revealed that the girlfriend never actually existed and was a hoax perpetrated by a friend of Te’o’s.
  5. The Potato Salad Kickstarter – This hoax involved a man who started a Kickstarter campaign to raise money for a potato salad recipe. The campaign went viral and raised over $55,000, despite being a joke.

Did you fall for any of these? Hopefully not. Still, isn’t it fun to reminisce?

Special shout out!!

This is a special shout out to what many consider to be the very first viral internet hoax of all time. It was the widely circulated rumour that spread like wildfire all the way back in 1994 that Bill Gates was going to purchase the Catholic Church… With Microsoft shares!


The rumour was quickly put to bed by both parties but for one glorious week (or so!), some people honestly bought it! But Bill Gates didn’t buy it… The Catholic Church, that is.



  1. Verify the source of the information before sharing it.
  2. Double-check the facts by doing some quick online research.
  3. Use fact-checking websites like Snopes, FactCheck.org, or PolitiFact to verify claims.
  4. Don’t believe everything you see on social media.
  5. Consider the tone and language used in the post. Often, hoaxes use sensational language or try to provoke an emotional response.
  6. Watch out for clickbait headlines and articles that seem too good to be true.
  7. Use critical thinking skills to analyse the information presented.
  8. Talk to someone you trust about the information to get a second opinion.
  9. Be wary of forwarded messages, as they may contain false information.
  10. Take a break from social media and the internet in general to reduce the amount of exposure to hoaxes.


Stay safe out there, friends, and remember: Don’t get Jussie Smolleted. Peace out!

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