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Rant of the Week - Spammers (07/02/200

By tcavadias Staff ·
Here we all are once again ready and willingly to listen to me rant, whine (yes, I will take some cheese with that), stomp my little foot and just give my little feeble opinion (as little as that opinion may be) :-)

I had originally started to write about "changes" - enlight of the new web design. Not about the design itself per se, but more about reflection based on "changes".

However, I decided to change that last minute, and start all over from scratch and go with spam and spammers instead.

So here it is - short and sweet, with a little Grey Poupon and crackers on the side.

I know on any given day even with the best filters in place, all measures that one can take to keep spam/spammers out of their email boxes, some spam still manages to get through. I don't tend to receive very much in my main email accounts (one for work and one for family/friends), since I use alternate email addresses for things like ordering online, subscribing to newsletters and joining forum boards. Along with the alternative email addresses, I also use filters, I don't click on the "unsubscribe" link in email received (they don't need confirmation from me that yes this is a valid email address) and report anything I receive to my ISP. For me, this works at cutting down the spam received in my main accounts. I'm sure each of you have your own way of combating spam/spammers, as that really is what it is - combat but without the combat pay.

While there are *laws* (Can-Spam) that are suppose to help deter spam/spammers they are a joke.

Such as:

- Requiring an "unsubscribe" link? Yeah right, like I'm going to click on it so they know my email address is valid? Besides, I shouldn't have to click on anything, as I shouldn't have gotten that spam email to begin with.

- I bought such and such item so their third parties now have a relation with me so they can now send me spam as well? No! If I wanted your product I would have searched you out to begin with.

- Legal recourse? Yeah right, big companies may have the ability to hunt down spammers, but what about the little guy?

Spam/spammers though isn't just a problem in email, its also a problem in forum boards, chat rooms and IM's.

It's a problem that will continue as long as the money is there, as that is what it mostly boils back down to - Dollar signs. I say mostly, as some of the spam received is for other *benefits* - i.e. the girl in the chatroom trying to pick up any guy over the age of 13 who can fulfill her every fantasy. Course some of you may not consider this spam, but I do when it's unwanted and the chatroom isn't called - Fantasies-R-Us.

What more should the government(s) (yes, I said government, shame on me) be doing? How about the companies that own the forum boards, chatrooms, and IM's? How about the ISP's?

What more can *we* do about it? How do you deter spam/spammers?

Yes, I know I probably just opened up a whole bag of worms, but that's ok, I have my fishing line out and some spam sounds good tonight (with a little Grey Poupon to cover the bitter taste)

-Tammy :-)

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Spammers? We don't need no steenkin' Spammers!

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Rant of the Week - Spamme ...

I have to say, Tammy, the 'Change' topic would have been a lot more fun! ...what with the new site and the Obama thing. But this will do.

It seems to me the amount of Spam has actually declined over the past year or so. Most of what sneaks past the filters is made up of scam offers or info phishing - those hoping for a few big scores. I believe many spam proliferators have turned to a more lucrative way of earning disreputable funds... spyware, malware and adware.

Selling email lists to groups that fly under the guise of 'Market Research' is still big bucks these days, but knowing the personal surfing and buying habits of people is much more valuable.

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Next week :-)

by tcavadias Staff In reply to Spammers? We don't need n ...

..next week we'll do "Changes".. as you have exactly what I was thinking - Obama, the web site, the world, etc... but we do know how we LOVE to go off-topic (no pun intended) So this could very well turn into a combo - Changes and Spam.. with a side of fries

I do have to ask though, are the ISP's doing enough? Are *we* as people doing enough or maybe too much? How about here at TR? What more can we do that we aren't already doing?

How about search engines? Should they be doing more? The list goes on...

-Tammy :-)

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Well, since you asked...

by CaptBilly1Eye In reply to Next week :-)

An annoyance that I and others have experienced is mail through TR from unknown members.

Peer Mail should be just that. Mail from peers... more directly... from those in our Contacts list. That way, no one can send me email until I receive and accept a request to add them to my Contacts list. I get several emails a week from first-time posters that are either too impatient to wait for a posted reply or those that are just too lazy to post a question to begin with. Because of that, I've considered turning off peer mail.

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Good suggestion....

by tcavadias Staff In reply to Well, since you asked...

Kinda similiar to how some IMing programs work - you can choose except all or only from contacts.

-Tammy :-)

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Even better suggestion about peer mail

by NickNielsen In reply to Next week :-)

If you don't accept it, you can't send it.

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That would have been my suggestion

by w2ktechman In reply to Even better suggestion ab ...

Along with being able to run a search for other users. That way one can more easily find them after receiving an email.

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You can search for users

by Michael Jay In reply to That would have been my s ...

from the top 100 page, over here:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5236-1-0.html

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Being the guy behind the spam filter

by Dumphrey In reply to Spammers? We don't need n ...

I can say over the past 2 years our spam volume has doubled, but, thanks to filter goodness, the end user is seeing less in their inbox.

"but knowing the personal surfing and buying habits of people is much more valuable."
Your ISP will complain about bandwidth congestion from P2P (which is < Youtube which is < SPAM). But then they say its to expensive to do any thing about. But then they whine about the cost of bandwidth...
A vicious circle. Seems to me they just want more control over what we are allowed to do with the internet, and who we can do so with...

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Don't actually get too much spam

by NickNielsen In reply to Rant of the Week - Spamme ...

I average about 3-5 messages per day for my three main email accounts. Dealing with it is easy: a quick review of senders and subject lines to make sure nothing important was mismarked, Mark All, and Delete.

I have noticed that I get different spam to the different accounts. The Hotmail account gets the "traditional" sex spam. Gmail gets discount merchandise and web pharmacy offers. My ISP account usually gets mails from sites or organizations with whom I used to have a business relationship. Funny thing about that is that most of those business relationships were initiated two or more ISPs ago, years before the current account was opened. Go figure.

Edit: clarify

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Black lists and spam filters are worse for business

by jdclyde In reply to Don't actually get too mu ...

Listening to some WATB go one about having to delete 5 spam messages is a lot better than if you miss ONE business opportunity because of either a stupid black list service or getting caught in a spam filter.

I have had a world of problems with both over the last few years.

Would you believe some of the damn black lists take a week to remove you OR you can PAY them to accelerate the removal? Blackmail.

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