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Spam, Spam and more Spam!
Published September 6th, 2009 by Roslyn Garavaglia  

It never stops!

How do spammers get your email adress?
Many ways…here are just a few methods.

Spammers buy lists of email adresses
Dishonest employees of ISP’s sometimes sell information they take from their work servers. This can happen on eBay or on the black market. Hackers can also break in and steal ISP customer lists and then sell those addresses to spammers.

Spammers use “harvesting” programs to scour the Internet and copy any text that contains the “@” character.

Dictionary Attacks
By trying every combination of names and letters at a domain. Spammers connect to a server and ask to deliver mail to mailbox “A”. If the server says OK, then they proceed to “AA”, and “B” etc, or any word or combination of letters that’s in their “dictionary”. And it’s all automated.

You unwittingly volunteer your email addresses to dishonest Subscribe/Unsubscribe online services.

Unwittingly? How?

You may have signed up for something and didn’t check their email policy. Pay attention to check boxes that request the right to send you e-mails or share your e-mail address with partners. Read the privacy policies of Web sites.

You may have replied to an email you shouldn’t have. Some unsolicited emails say “If you wish to be removed from our mailing list click here”. Clicking on the link gives them confirmation your email is valid.

Your best friend sent you a Chain Letter or Pass it Along Email and you did as requested. Now, everyone in future “pass it on” mailings has your email address.

You may have signed up for an email group or forum. Most group owners set it up so your email address is hidden from other members however if you can see any posters’ email address, then so can spammers.

Someone “thoughtfully” submitted your email address to a Refer a Friend scheme or promotion. Some Refer a Friend schemes are not legit or they share their lists.

 Effective Tips to Avoid Getting Spam

Use a spam filter

Microsoft has built mechanisms into Outlook that allow you to fight spam. The problem is that configuring Outlook to filter spam without using third-party software is a lot of work. 

Spammers are always using new spamming techniques, so the Outlook filters that work today may not work tomorrow. Even if you could keep an Outlook level spam filter up to date, there’s a huge administrative burden since each user’s Outlook profile must be maintained independently.

The only real solution is to stop spam at the Exchange Server level, before it can make its way into your mailbox. While no anti-spam product is 100 % effective, Bonza highly recommends software that has won more 100% Detection Awards than any other  program in the world!

Turn off your preview feature

E-mail addresses are valuable to spammers, but their value rises even higher when it becomes clear that spam sent to the address is being read. Several people who send bulk e-mail use HTML and include links to images in their advertisements. These links often lead to an unique address in a server that is controlled by the spammer, allowing him to deduct who has read his advertisement by looking at which URL’s were used to request the image.

Never respond to Unsolicited emails
Never, never, ever reply to spam, or use the suggested “remove” method that is often shown at the end of the mail. Don’t click on any links contained in the email either.

Use Two Email Accounts
If you join chat rooms, gaming sites, forums and networks, or posting to a newsgroup, get yourself a seperate or “disposable” email adress instead of using your primary email address. A temporary address like Gmail which can be forwarded to your real account and which you can disable or abandon the minute it attracts spam.

Search in Google for “disposable e-mail addresses” and you’ll find a list of e-mail providers designed for one-time use e-mails.

Choose your email address well
E-mail addresses composed of short names and initials like bob@ or abc@, or basic combinations like smithj@ or blacks@ will probably receive more spam because they are easy to guess.(See Dictionary Attacks above

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 6th, 2009 at 9:05 am and is filed under Computer Problems . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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