Types Of Spam

Virus Type Attacks - They may look like an advertisement (spam) or a message from someone you know. Email is the most common way that viruses, worms and trojan horses are spread. When one gets into your computer, it searches for email addresses in contact lists, word processing documents - everywhere. Then it sends the infection to every address. The more computers that have your email address, the more vulnerable you are. How important is your information?

Unwanted Marketing - Many online stores hide permission to share your information in their terms and conditions, or you may have filled in a web form. Spammers get email addresses from many sources including dictionary attacks - sending millions of emails with various letter/number combinations to find valid addresses. Valid email addresses are valuable. Yours will be sold again and again.

Personal - Email from people you know. You're on their list for jokes - anything they're interested in. Do you know how well protected they are from viruses? They may be among the millions of people who pass along viruses without knowing it. Instant Messaging (IM) users are under heavy attack and are extremely vulnerable. Do you get email from any IM households?

Removing and Avoiding

Asking To Be Removed
“Remove me” links can control newsletters that you intentionally subscribed to. For any other situation, they may or may not honor your request. Unfortunately, you can’t know in advance.
Conclusion - It will probably make it worse.

Complaining To Legitimate Companies That Are Sernding You Spam
You will probably be ignored. It won’t stop their spam and they may sell your address to other spammers.
Conclusion - At best, a waste of time.

Changing Your Email Address
Changing email addresses is a hassle for you and your contacts. You’ll miss messages, force your contacts to update your address, and it won't stop spam. Even if your email address is totally private, you will get spam.
Conclusion - You will get spam again, soon. More trouble than it s worth.

Black Listing
This is keeping track of known spammers and automatically deleting their mail. Does it work? Not even for the big companies that make a living doing it. The spammers have far too many tricks.
Conclusion - Ineffective, and expensive.

White Listing
Would deleting all email messages except from specified people get rid of spam? Yes, but it would also remove messages that you may want to see. If your contacts change their email addresses, you’ll miss their messages - even the one about the change of address. You'll spend lots of time chasing missed messages and fine tuning your white list. You'll still have to give your address for online purchases.
Conclusion - More trouble than it s worth.

Spam Filters
I anly have experience with one, and it's very good - and absolutely FREE. It's called SpamBayes, and here's how it works in MS Outlook (not Outlook Express).

  • When mail comes into the "Inbox" folder, SpamBayes looks it over.
  • If it's very sure that a message is Spam, it moves it to the "Junk E-Mail" folder.
  • If it's not sure a message is Spam, it goes into the "Junk Suspects" folder.
  • If it looks good, it stays in the "Inbox"

Now for the good part - SpamBayes lets you decide what you consider to be Spam. One person's Spam is another's Ham

If it makes a mistake, just drag the misfiled message to where it belongs, and SpamBayes learns. In less than a week, there will only be a few suspects a day, and almost no errors.

Very very cool.

Let me know if you want it and I'll send you the program. I'll also send you the instructions that I wrote.

Why There Is Marketing Spam

One Person In Ten Has Purchased Something From Spam
The only way spam can be stopped is for everyone in the world - yes, the world - to stop buying from spammers until it becomes unprofitable. It’s not likely to happen. Anti-Spam laws have made it worse, and always will, because all laws have loopholes.
Conclusion - For the big picture, it’s hopeless.

Four Things You Can Do

Be sure the message text of email doesn’t automatically show. If it does, they’ve got your address. Different programs have different ways to change this setting. In MS Outlook, turn off "preview pane" and “auto-preview”.

More than 20% of all email is never received. If an email looks suspicious – just delete it. The worst thing that can happen is that you delete a legitimate message. If a sender asks, "Didn’t you get my mail?" you can reply, "No, please send it again. What's the subject line, so I can look for it?"
That's reasonable – it happens every day.

Educate yourself and those around you about giving out email and other personal information.

Get SpamBayes or some other filter.

Conclusion - Take precautions and don't let it get to you.