Malware

What type of spam annoys you the most?

The proliferation of e-mail spam was bad enough, but now there is phone, IM, and TXT spam to add to users' frustrations. Take this quick poll to let us know which type of spam you find most annoying.

One of the great things about the march of technological progress is the new ways of communication. Unfortunately, with every new form of communication, some nefarious people find ways to spam it.

The granddaddy of spam is, of course, junk mail, followed by phone solicitations. E-mail spam is always getting worse, and now some people are getting junk IMs and TXT messages. It's enough to drive you batty!

While e-mail spam can be fought with spam filters, other types are hard to filter out, due to the inability of the user to control the network. Take this quick poll to let us know which type of spam you find most annoying.

About

Justin James is the Lead Architect for Conigent.

75 comments
golferguy1
golferguy1

for those good old phone spams, I report religiously all info off my caller id to donotcall.gov It sure has slowed them down, and quickly. If I just can't stand one of them, I surf them on the net, and email them from a faux email I set up called I_do_not_want_you_to_contact_me_again@starting_now.com

regretela
regretela

I hate text spam since my provider, T-Mobile, charges me for all text messages and I don't have the option of turning it off. What a scam...from both the spammers and T-Mobile. I wonder who is on the payroll.

vonnekaye
vonnekaye

anything that is on Oprah today will be in my email tomarrow..HATE IT !

shanse3
shanse3

I hate windshield wiper spam the most because I don't realize it's there until I'm driving. Maybe I should be a little more observant, but by the time I notice it, I have to try and knock it off with my wipers. Electronically speaking, I hate comment spam. I hate it when people post comments to blogs or articles just to advertise their products. Drives me nuts.

jdclyde
jdclyde

The only thing worse than SPAM emails is VALID emails that get blocked by the @#$@#'en spam filters. People have lost sight of their purpose in IT. It is better to let 100 spam in every day than to block a single valid email. So what if a user has to take one minute a day to delete them? Better that than lose a single job because of not getting back to the customer in a timely manner.

davidt
davidt

I got a Barracuda spam filter here, so out of 9000 emails a day the legitimate 350-500 are all that get through. Wish I had that kind of filter on my phone, stop all those "your car warranty has expired...." type calls.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

'Judy and her great big ones' is the one that stops me dead.

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

It's frustrating to get two pounds of paper and all of it junk mail.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I selected phone spam because it's the most intrusive of the list. Setting a house phone to "vibrate" is counter productive. Worse still, it's often an automatic dialer that calls you to put you on hold before a human spammer eventually tries to sell you something. That is second only to Door spam though; the door to door sales people that put so much effort into "pushy". I have two third party energy parasites (er.. resellers) that infest my local area. Every few months they do there rounds and come knocking on the door. We're up to eight visits now from the same provider and every visit goes the same way. They push every sales pitch they can and we say "no, go away". It gest worse; our own provider door spams us just as regularily as the competition. I've even had the one company pose as my current provider which I only discovered when they tried to slam me onto there subscriber list resulting in a call from the first. A favorite tactic is sending English Second Language sales staff. I've no issue with heavy accents and people who's first language is not my own. I have a huge problem with door to door sales staff playing dumb behind there ESL and acting completely confused as to why you would not happily hand over billing information to strangers at your front door. The religious nuts that come around from time to time are not even half as bad as the freaking energy resellers. Parasites every one. I'm going to start answering the door naked with a baseball bat in one hand.

JimInPA
JimInPA

The phone spam has gone away but I still get it at work. It's harder to ignore so for me it's by far the most annoying.

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

Spam in the TR forums! - repeat postings from pseudo-members pushing their site, company, warez, or other garbage.

Justin James
Justin James

IM spam annoys me the most. I like to keep my IM client open to all, which just invites spammers. When I tell it to ask me before letting someone IM me, it's just as bad since I still get the workflow-interrupting popup. The only solution is to block all IMs from unknown people, which blocks my goal of letting anyone get in touch with me. Argh. :) J.Ja

RipVan
RipVan

Computers are just far too smart and intrusive. Self-detecting this, self-detecting that. I guess they have detected that I am short. Because all at once, a few years ago, I started getting all this email that starts out "Add inches to yourself..."

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I park on the street and just recently this started happening...The worst was a few nights ago, I got THREE huge fliers (8.5x11) on my windshield...ARRGGG

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

I hate that stuff on my windshield, too. Just royally p*sses me off. Especially when it rains and plasters the ink from it to the windshield.

Justin James
Justin James

I agree, I run with zero filters. The amount of spam I get has slowly increased... a few years ago it was 50 - 75 per day, now it is 150 - 200 per day I think. But I still spend less than 5 minutes of my day managing it. I can't use filters, because the false positives will kill mail from readers here, and I never want to have that happen. J.Ja

jmgarvin
jmgarvin

I tend to get very little spam at work and gmail does a good job, BUT, I have lost a few valid emails that I've sent....what's up with that?

davidt
davidt

It's definitely better to allow some spam than to block legitimate email. We use Barracuda and take that approach - even before we implemented it, we quickly whitelisted ALL our customers, and we watch the logs every day.

LaCiguapa
LaCiguapa

I don't even know how to freaking drive! i do not own even a pair of roller blades! I told them that I was willing to take advantage of their offer if they gave me a free car, since the Rep did not answer right away, i screamed "Then take me off your list and never call back again" that with the same tone of voice my five year old uses when he is treathening me to not breath ever again if I do not give in into buying him a new toy. It was soooooooo anoying to get their calls at 9:00am on Sundays, though now the masoquist that lives deep inside me misses them. Naaah not at all.

JimInPA
JimInPA

They leave standing on a street corner in a spandex leotard holding a lacrosse stick in one hand and a leash with a goat on the end in the other hand and then never show up. Talk about embarrassing... That never happened to you guys... ummmm... Me neither :0

LaCiguapa
LaCiguapa

what the f...?! They never go away, the kicker is that saddly they leave me wondering about the possibilities LOL

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

We have a notice posted on our door: "Soliciting or witnessing by invitation only." "Or witnessing" is the direct result of the Jehovah's Witnesses' adamant assertions that they were not "soliciting."

fatman65535
fatman65535

Like you, I hate door spam. The ones that just completely torque me off are the disciples of "Jehovah". (can I be a witness?) Some of them will leave when I politely advise them that I am not interested. It is THOSE, who, when being politely asked to leave; inform me that I am going to HELL. To drive the point home; I will always tell them that I already have my reservations made, level 13, suite 13. If they look at me cross eyed, I simply ask them if they ever read Dante. The next thing to door spam, is robo-dialers. Since my local telco provides me with voice mail; my outgoing greeting makes it very clear that I have subscribed to the "Don Not Call" list. All messages it takes are time stamped, and the calling number is included. The weekend before labor day, a local jeweler was using a robodialer to spam people in our area. The voice mail system took two of his messages, and I called him up, and told him in no uncertain terms that I did not want his spam. I also reminded him that, one, I was on the "Do Not Call" list; and two, that in our state, using robodialers is illegal. One more call from him, and I will be complaining to the FTC. Problem stopped.

Justin James
Justin James

What I get here a lot is so sad. The local paper offers a "scholarship" (it's like $100 or something equally worthless to someone going to college) to the high school student that can get the most people to agree to a free trial of the paper... which of course, becomes a paid subscription if you can't navigate their Byzantine AOL-esque cancellation system. It really annoys me, because these kids don't realize that they're being played, they are good meaning and just want to do something to help their future. I may just start giving them $5, it will most likely help them more than taking the free subscription (statistically speaking I'm right, unless there are less than 20 students participating in the program), and still meets my goal of not having to deal with the newspaper people. J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

Odd that I forgot that, even though I see it all the time. Whoops! J.Ja

JimInPA
JimInPA

I've got these CD keys I would like to sell anyone interested? I also have great deals on X-Box's, MP3 players, iPods and computer memory wait there's more I now host the best job site on the internet. Lonely? I have just the site for you find your perfect match only $27.95 :D

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

for mail -- junk I can quickly weed through it. email -- press delete, use spam filters IM -- I only use at work and I havent gotten any Text -- I dont do the whole texting thing, phone -- If its on my cell, I may need to pay for it. Also, I have to go out of my way to answer the friggin thing and spend a little more time realizing that it is a sh!t call.

OnTheRopes
OnTheRopes

My provider, Sprint, is the biggest abuser too. I should change my service but I don't want to renew my contract by doing that. After this contract expires I'm going to a pay and play phone.

maecuff
maecuff

that comes in a can with that weird spam jelly around it. Damn, that just annoys the piss out of me.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

They always manage to call during nap time, and I end up going home to a cranky baby and an even crankier wife.

boxfiddler
boxfiddler

on the campus parking lot. Big ones, little ones, mid size ones, teeny ones. What I'd like to do the %*&!@#!s would get me prosecuted.

jdclyde
jdclyde

and losing it. It isn't a filter that I had ANY input on getting, and I am not the one that "administers" it. It works horribly, but my efforts to kill it were seen as me making a power play by an insecure co-worker. If anyone calls me about problems getting mail, I just forward the call now. If it isn't a problem I am [b]allowed[/b] to solve, it isn't my problem.

TranMan
TranMan

Mine would be 20 feet long and harder than woodpecker lips if I'd bought just .0001% of the stuff they've tried to sell to me.

seanferd
seanferd

You sound cute. Don't email me at the address on this email, cuz its not my real one. Use this address Alexis Hottie@RBN.ru.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I'm telling you, I think that's going to be the way to go for me. It may cause a blush now (if I do say so myself), but I'm sure it'll become more effective as time goes on. ;)

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

There is a temple along with several other christian churches back home. Perhaps it's the small town folk but politely declining has never been an issue. My parents get a visit about every six months or so when the Jehovah's do there recruiting rounds. My favorite is; "no thanks. I've my own brand." My friend uses; "no thanks. I'm already a cracker." Where I am now, I get your experience but with a very cultist church in the local area.; seriously, Christianity corrupted into a cult. Some are very civil and move along when I politely decline. One particular zealot pushes for a less than civil ending at almost every random meeting though. Unfortunately, tossing him off the public bus would only fuel his desire to become a martyr ahead of his time. Phone spam sucks because the house line has to have an audible ring and robodialers are infuriating (being put on hold to wait for a human is worse still). That's definitely second on my list of unsolicited pushers.

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Those knocks on the door have been only once or twice though so I can let that pass. Religious door to door, less often and generally respectful when I politely decline the invitation. Now, one particular representative from the local church of door to door who specializes in acosting subway riders in the Eglington and Don Mills area (Toronto Cult.. er.. Church.. of Christ); He's generally a very hostile zealot (actually told me that his religion should be th only one and all other's eradicated). I've seen him drive little old gospel ladies off the bus at the next stop so now I confront him when he won't leave someone alone and move on. The energy resellers are the one's that really get me still though. I know the representatives are just trying to earn an income (often new to the country it seems) but it's a textbook social engineering assault every time they show up. I got hooked which only fuels my ire but I'm no longer polite at the door and won't be renewing my obligations as soon as I'm able to negate my subscriptions. You probably would do more good by donating to the students at your door provided that amount makes it back to there savings account. Since they where motivated enough to take such a slag job to earn money for school, it's likely that they would see the value in saving your donations though. Just watch for the people that catch on to the gig and make it a subtle blackmail visit like the sapuku con that became popular after most of the samurai became disenfranchised under Tokagawa rule and had no other way to feed there families.

The Scummy One
The Scummy One

cell phones DVD's and FREE MUSIC (for only $12.99/month)

rhomp2002
rhomp2002

What I hate about phone spam is that even with the phone displaying the caller ID I still have to listen to that krep. If I don't know the number I don't answer until the caller tries to leave a message and then only if I recognize the voice. It is still a nuisance. I signed up for that do not clal list but I still get all these amazingly wonderful calls to buy time shares or invest in companies or buy these great products. I was thinking of getting some device to make rude noises so they would just shut up but so many of them are automated calls that it wouldn't make a difference.

Justin James
Justin James

... about once a month. It's slightly obnoxious, but its at a low enough volume for me to not care about it. Yet. :) J.Ja

Justin James
Justin James

It's always something really vague, like "I have a problem with my VB code, what's wrong with it?" J.Ja

CaptBilly1Eye
CaptBilly1Eye

OK... let me make my request again. Hey TR! - Please make Peer Mail just that, Peer Mail. Make it so that no one other than those in our My Contact List can send us email! Come on. It can't be that difficult to add the filter. This is an long-standing enhancement request that should be on the top of the list!

JimInPA
JimInPA

I love Spam... although I think someone once told me it's made of people :0

Northlite
Northlite

Our answering machine has a do not disturb button on it, it's a Radio Shack three phone system I bought just for that feature, when my husband is napping, since I don't have any babies left in the house I push that button so he isn't bothered or startled awake with the phone ringing. It lets the person leave a message if they want and with caller ID we can always check and see who called later on.

Justin James
Justin James

I've been cell-only since 2001 or so, and it is the best way to ensure that you get nearly zero phone spam. By law, you can't use an autodialer for solicitations to cell phones, which makes it prohibitively expensive to spam them. :) On top of that, my phone is nearly always on vibrate, so even if I am rocking the baby to sleep, my phone ringing doesn't disturb him. I'm also quite lucky that he "sleeps like a baby"! J.Ja

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Nothing like getting baby almost asleep only to hear the house line ring. I love my little one but that hour to hour and a half after bed time is precious.

shanse3
shanse3

It's doubly bad because if I do notice it before I start driving, I usually think it's a ticket and get scared. Then I realize it's not, and get pissed. Those are the rare occasions that I actually realize it's there before I start driving.

w2ktechman
w2ktechman

after all who has the ability to convince the 'other half' to order their cr@p??

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I thought of posting a "no flyers please" on my mailbox but figured it would just be easier to paint a big target on the box. I think I'm going to try your sign on the door first though. I also thought of a nice modification to my original plan. Since the original plan takes the preperation of undressing before answering the door, the humourus aproach would be to change it a little. Answer the door confirming who it is then, while apearing very interested, unconciously just start undressing and see how many layers you get off before the emberassed prosthetisers run away. (less to explain to my neibours that way also ;) )

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

I considered answering the door in camo pants, a wife-beater t-shirt, a can of beer in one hand, and a Remington 810 in the other. Just the first three is enough to chase most people away; adding the shotgun will probably rout even the most stubborn. :D

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

Back in the BBs days, I had a few people that called my phone to recieve a fax squeel or in one or too odd cases, answered their phone to recieve it. (but, they earned it and got the point ;) )

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

As far as I'm concerned, that is the height of rude. Why should I wait for you to be ready? Why aren't you ready when I pick up the phone? After all, you called me. I've been tempted to get an old analog fax and connect it to the home phone line. Then I just press the "Answer" button when I get one of those "please hold" calls and the human comes on the line. I haven't done it yet because I strongly suspect I'd start getting fax spam...

Neon Samurai
Neon Samurai

I met with a perspective client that wanted a fax spam engine glued together; take list in excel plus letter in word and feed to fax program. Every time I remember it, I'm happy about it not working out. However, what I learned as that one of the requirnments was to track "do not call" numbers based on the request date so they could be enabled again after the six month limit passed. A call within six months of the recipient's request meant a potential fine. I'm not sure if the laws have since changed nor am I sure if I trust the company to keep a no call list any more than I trust the government to provide what is basically a mailing/calling list too spammers; "We can't call these people? Sure thing. [big friendly smile]" - "Jimmy, here's the list, set the six month timer then let it rip."

anne.powel
anne.powel

Because of that, anyone who was on the original, supposedly forever, list now has to re-enroll. But this time they do allow registration on the web, so calling from the affected phone is not necessary.

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

This is from the SPAM Faq: [i]Does SPAM mean ?spiced ham?? While some speculate that the name came from mashing the two words together, SPAM? has come to mean so much more than simply ?spiced ham.? While SPAM? does certainly include ham and spices, the term ?spiced ham? simply doesn?t paint the right picture of what SPAM? really is. So in the end, SPAM? means SPAM?. For real.[/i] http://www.spam.com/whatisspam/faq.pdf (one page) Edit: added link

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

But we didn't get crescents, we had to settle for homemade biscuit dough. Blocks & bricks is what we used to call them. I have no idea where the name came from and there's nobody left to ask. :(

JimInPA
JimInPA

TR members exchanging recipes for Spam... :D

JimInPA
JimInPA

What does Heston have to do with it????? And I am full well aware that it isn't actually made of people. Lighten up dude.

fatman65535
fatman65535

As a kid, my mom used to cut the can into sticks about 1/2 inch square by 3 inches long. Wrap a crescent roll around them, bake, and enjoy!

maecuff
maecuff

And I thought it meant SPiced hAM.

TranMan
TranMan

Actually, SPAM was invented because way back when (I think in the forties), there was a surplus of pork shoulders, and they needed a way to package them and make them (marginally, some say), edible. According to the company that makes it, the acronym, "SPAM", stands for, "Shoulder of Pork And Ham". So it's not "us", it's pigs.

seanferd
seanferd

But I've heard some bass-ackward and twisted versions of the origins of Spam. Without adding too much detail, I'll just say that some of these folks thought Spam was made of people.

JimInPA
JimInPA

Spread it on an english muffin and bake it mmmm... mom used to make that. I don't know what the other stuff is. Grilled Spam is my second favorite way to eat it put it on a hamburger bun with some bbq sauce... now your talkin' :D

maecuff
maecuff

That's Soylent Green. Spam? My parents forced that on me as a child. I can't eat it. That, and Chef Boyardee Pizza in a box. Blech.

Justin James
Justin James

In March, me and the finace got new phones. I bought her the LG Venus, it cost me roughly $300. I told her that if it died within the 2 year period to not get promotional pricing that it would be replaced with a $50 phone. So far, it's become our son's second favorite toy... great. :) His favorite toy, oddly enough, is this silly baby sized hockey stick we got at his first hockey game. No move parts. No noises. No lights. Nothing. He carries it everywhere, like a security blanket, and loves to just push it on the floor in front of him. I keep trying to explain that basketball pays better and has less chance of broken teeth, but he won't listen... J.Ja

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

We got her the same FP cell phone. She ignores it! LOL. Finally, we gave her my wife's old dead one... little girl is happy. :D

Justin James
Justin James

Yeah, once JMJ 2.0 gets to be around 2 or 3 I will have to consider a landline, if for nothing else, 911 "just in case". On the other hand, while I would never buy a kid a cell phone, he certainly knows how to use one. He figured out cell phones by 1 year, and now he grabs any rectangluar object, holds it against his head and tries to talk. Ironically, the retro Fisher-Price phone we got him (you know the one, it rolls with the eyes that go up and down when you pull it...), while enjoyable, is not something he recognizes as "a phone". He just likes to pull it around. Odd how that is! J.Ja