Starbucks email, Windows email Security Test, and new VA Internet safety law: Internet ScamBusters #174
Today we have a Snippets issue for you, and we focus on three topics:
- Did Starbucks Really Say They Don't Support the Troops in Iraq?
- Windows Email Security Test
- New Law Requires Virginia Public Schools to Teach Internet Safety
On to today's Snippets...
Did Starbucks Really Say They Don't Support the Troops in Iraq?
We've gotten a lot of questions this week asking us if the following email is true or a hoax:
--- Begin hoax email ---
Subject line: Starbucks
Recently Marines in Iraq wrote to Starbucks, because they wanted to let them know how much they liked their coffees and to request that they send some of it to the troops there.
Starbucks replied, telling the Marines thank you for their support in their business, but that Starbucks does not support the war, nor anyone in it, and that they would not send the troops their brand of coffee.
So as not to offend Starbucks, we should not support them by buying any of their products.
As a war vet writing to fellow patriots, I feel we should get this out in the open. I know this war might not be very popular with some folks, but that doesn't mean we don't support the boys on the ground, fighting street-to-street and house-to-house for what they and I believe is right.
If you feel the same as I do then pass this along, or you can discard it and no one will ever know.
Thanks very much for supporting me, and I know you'll all be there when I deploy once more.
Sgt Howard C. Wright
1st Force Recon Co 1st Plt PLT
--- End hoax email ---
Answer: We've been getting variants of this hoax email for the past two years.
Starbucks has refuted this email. Here is what Starbucks says on their website:
"Starbucks Donates to Military Personnel. As part of
Starbucks ongoing commitment to share the comfort of
coffee during times of crisis, the company continues to
demonstrate our support of the men and women serving in
the U.S. military overseas."
You can read more about Starbucks' donation policies by clicking on the "Starbucks ongoing commitment" link on this page.
We recommend you NOT pass along this email hoax.
Windows Email Security Test
Is your computer safe? Most of us have no idea, even if we have programs to protect us from viruses, spyware and other security threats.
You can perform a test to see how secure your system is. You can visit the website below and give your name and email address. They then send you a confirmation email.
When you click on the link, you'll be sent approximately 24 emails, each with a harmless text file that tests a specific aspect of security.
If you receive the emails, you may want to follow the instructions (which include details of what you can do to improve security), since your computer may not be as protected as you thought.
(Incidentally, we were initially VERY reluctant to recommend this website, because if this test were a scam, it could do a lot of damage. However, we found that this site is recommended and linked to by hundreds of top sites, and Microsoft recommends it as a Resource. Nonetheless, we still always recommend caution in these situations.)
New Law Requires Virginia Public Schools to Teach Internet Safety
A new law, which passed last month and takes effect on July 1, 2006, requires public schools in Virginia to teach students about cyber-safety. The goal is to teach kids (and hopefully their parents as well) about the dangers of cyberspace.
Although there have been many informal and ad hoc measures to teach students about Internet safety, this bill formalizes the process by directing the Department of Education to issue guidelines to schools for integrating cyber-safety into the regular curriculum.
We believe teaching kids about cyber-safety is very important. The Virginia Department of Education (as well as the public schools) can take advantage of the wealth of free information ScamBusters.org has published over the past 11 years on cyber-safety.
That's all for today -- see you next week.