Saturday, November 14, 2015

Everybody Hates Spam! - A Repost

I hear people talk about this all the time. "I get 100 SPAMs a day! I can't read my REAL e-mails because there's so much SPAM!

I feel as though I should be embarrassed to admit it, but I don't have this problem. I get very few SPAMs, and I've had the same e-mail address - and only one e-mail address - for years.

Of course, I'm OCD and very conservative in my web-browsing. I don't open e-cards, or the like, and relentlessly cull cookies from my browser. Every day - sometimes more than once a day. Especially if I haplessly open a website with pop-ups, flashing ads, or soundtracks. It's actually very easy, and has worked well for me. I also have a SPAM filter, but it hardly catches anything.

So. That's me. But lots of other folk seem to have a problem with SPAM. So here's some advice from various quarters re: SPAM

First, the BBC. And as a special treat they will tell us why it's called SPAM...

"The term derives from a Monty Python sketch where a couple in a restaurant try to order something other than spam, the once-popular meat product. A group of Vikings in the background start singing the praises of spam and soon the only word you can hear in the sketch is ‘spam’.

The idea is that the same thing would happen to the internet – it would be totally overwhelmed by large-scale unsolicited emails."

(I don't know if this is true or not - Wikipedia is silent on the subject - but it's fun, and I love "Monty Python," so I'll take it as gospel!)  

back to the BBC:

"The best anti-spam measure is to be a bit savvy about the way you use your email account!

• Try to avoid opening spam emails and clicking on links in spam messages.

• Don’t buy anything from a spammer. Not only do you risk comprising your security and infecting your computer with malware - viruses and so on - you also reward and encourage the spammers.

• Don’t be tempted to reply. The mailbox is probably unread.

• Don’t threaten the spammer. Some mails will be seen and spammers have rights too. Threatening messages could expose you to legal action.

• Avoid ‘unsubscribe’ options. Cynically, spammers often include an ‘unsubscribe’ link. Far from removing the menace, clicking it will confirm that your address is active and probably attract even more spam.

• Use a disposable email address. You could use this account especially for buying online or writing to newsgroups. If you find that you are getting a lot of spam at this address, you can simply delete it and set up another.

• Be wary about giving out your main email address. If in doubt, it is a good idea to use a disposable address (see above).

• Never reveal your email address on your website. If you have a website, putting your email address on it will be easy fodder for a ‘spambot’ that is harvesting addresses. You could use a web contact form instead.

• Munging. A simple but effective technique where you present your address in a way that people can easily work out but which will fool spambots. They will look for a pattern, such as Writing the address as ‘a at b dot com’ would probably evade them."

more of BBC's wise words here: BBC Webwise

Over at they offer these suggestions:

It All Starts with Us, the "Wetware" (Your Brain)

If you really want to prevent spam, and not have a continual fight with it, you have to change your behavior. Unfortunately, the spammers know human behavior pretty well and take advantage of it at every turn.

Consider that there are two reasons to have email.

1. To collaborate/communicate with people you already know for either personal or business purposes.

2. To communicate with people you don't currently know in hopes of generating new business, or new opportunities that could benefit us in some way either personally or professionally.

Number 1, rarely gets us in trouble. It is Number 2 that puts us the spammer's radar. The personal behaviors we engage in that most commonly relate to number 2 involve things like:

• Placing our email addresses on business cards

• Placing our email on websites

• Using our email to register with/for an online service.

On the surface these all sound pretty innocuous, and for the most part they are, until you start to expand from those points and see the bigger picture.

Article also discusses Business cards, websites and other ways you give your info to spammers, here: AvoidSPAM

Well, it's not about SPAM, but it is Python-ish...

And there's also the notion that we can put a stop to the torrent of SPAM, or at least reduce it to a much smaller spate by getting proactive:

"Here's the thing: no one is sending spam for free. Someone's paying for the spammers to send. So if we can’t get to the spammers themselves, the government could certainly hold responsible the companies they are pitching.

And it’s time to stop illegal spamming. NOW. We all get spam that seemingly comes from reputable companies. But somewhere in their promotional chain, the crossover happens from coupons and Groupons into spam. And the way to truly combat that flavor of spam is to hold the reputable companies responsible.

So why doesn’t the government go after spammers through the companies they’re pitching?

In just one recent (and large) collection of spam were these, among dozens of others:

eHarmony Partner

FREE this Weekend ONLY - No Credit Card Needed


Today.. Brand New Apple Ipad 32GB for $17.57

Lifestyle Lift

Do you look older than you feel?

Improvement Center

Change your life with a Walk-In Bathtub

AIG Direct Life Insurance

$250k Term Life Coverage for less than $15 per mo

View Photos of Local Singles on for Free...


SAVE up to 85% on Ink and Toner today – Free Shipping

Marine Essentials

||Blood Pressure Myth Exposed…?

Insider Consumer Trends

Want to look younger? Help has arrived. Dating

View Profiles of Black Singles - Free to Look

In these examples, eHarmony is paying someone to send emails – so levy a fine on eHarmony for the spam. HotCloseouts is paying someone – so hit HotCloseouts with a monetary penalty. Lifestyle Lift is paying someone – levy a big fine on Lifestyle Lift. Walk-In Bathtub is paying someone – another financial penalty for Walk-In Bathtub.

And the same for the rest of those villains: fines for AIG and and Simplyink and Insider Consumer Trends and If we make the benefactors of the spam pay a hefty price, they will stop using the spammers to get business.

And all penalties would be based on the number of reported spams, extrapolated out for how many total spams that each reported spam represents of the original gargantuan list.

Granted, there are many more spams that aren’t linked back to reputable companies, but holding these corporations responsible would go a long way toward defeating spam. So please, write letters - emails! - to your congresspersons. Flood them with pleas and demands to stop spam. Get them thinking about this solution to a growing problem."

However you slice it, SPAM is hard to swallow. And I wish you well in your war on it, however you choose to fight.