Re: Spam

From: Bruce Chambers (bchambers_at_cable0ne.n3t)
Date: 11/19/05


Date: Fri, 18 Nov 2005 18:56:15 -0700

Jay Cee wrote:
> A Brisbane friend of mine has just subscribed to broadband and is now
> plagued by spam. Is this inherent to his new broadband connection or has he
> given his new e-mail address to contacts with trojan-infested computers? My
> Thai ISP mail box, first dial-up now broadband, has never ever received
> spam. Has my friend done something wrong? He doesn't even want to give me
> his new e-mail address for fear I would get spammed because of him!!
>
>

     While it's not possible to completely eliminate spam (unsolicited
commercial email), there are some precautions and steps you can take to
minimize it's impact:

1) Never, ever post your real email address to publicly accessible
forums or newsgroups, such as this one, as you have done. For years
now, spammers have been using software utilities to scan such places to
harvest email addresses. It's a simple matter to disguise your posted
email address so that these software "bots" can't obtain anything
useful. For example, insert some obviously bogus characters or words
into your reply address, for example: "name@NOSPAMisp.com."

2) Never, ever reply to any spam you receive, even to "unsubscribe" or
"remove" yourself from the spammers' address lists; you'll only compound
the problem. If spammers had any intention of honoring the your desire
not to receive spam, they wouldn't have become spammers in the first
place. When you reply to a spammer, all you're doing is confirming that
he/she has a valid, marketable email address.

3) Be especially leery of any offers from websites for free software,
services, information, etc, that require your email address, or that
require your email address so you can "login" to access the offered
service and/or information. Many such sites are supplementing their
income by collecting addresses to sell to the spammers. For instance,
subscribing to CNN.COM's Breaking News Service will garner you a lot of
additional spam. (Of course, not all such sites have under-handed
motives; it's a judgment call. If the offer seems "too good to be
true," it's most likely a scam.)

4) DO forward any and all spam, with complete headers, to the
originating ISP with a complaint. Not all ISPs will make an effort to
shut down the spammers, but many will. One tool that makes forwarding
such complaints fairly simple is SpamCop (http://spamcop.net).

4) Another useful tool is MailWasher (http://www.mailwasher.net). This
utility allows you to preview your email before downloading it from the
server. Spammers can even be blacklisted, so that any future emails
from them will be automatically deleted from the server.

5) Within Outlook Express or whatever other email client application
you use, add any spammers to your Blocked Senders list, so the their
messages are automatically deleted from the server without being
downloaded to your PC.

-- 
Bruce Chambers
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