spam must be canned
do you want to get rid of wrinkles for good and
look years younger? how would you like to get rid of your debt in
one easy step? come-ons like these are about as irritating as those
solicitors that walk into your workplace when you are focusing on
an important task. they both have at least two things in common;
they are uninvited and are hard to eliminate.
since the beginning of e-mail, internet users have
had to tediously sort through an insurmountable amount of unsolicited,
commercial e-mail, otherwise known as "spam," before accessing
their legitimate email. not only is separating the welcome e-mail
from the intrusive a tiresome task, it is a necessary one if we
are to maximize precious hard drive and server space, not to mention
our own valuable time.
spam is not a new phenomenon, but it is a problem
that is growing exponentially--it has been around long enough to
become part of vernacular language--and costs very little for the
sender compared to sending u.s. postal service mail. this makes
spam the method of choice for ham-handed marketers to reach you,
and millions like you, by plastering their billboards throughout
cyberspace trying to get your attention.
keep in mind that spammers spend a great deal of
time and effort gathering addresses and personal information. but
until governmental organizations pass appropriate legislation against
spam, each one of us needs to rely on our own intuition to recognize
when offers are out of bounds, and to find the means to curb the
amount of spam that wastes our time.
let's take a look at how spam gets compiled and
ends up on our screens.
selling information – you may wonder
how spammers obtain your email address. many legitimate organizations
sell your information to the private sector and to others who request
such lists. this information can come from state departments of
motor vehicles, schools and public libraries, to mention a few.
private institutions sell information given to them when you register
on their web sites.
email harvesting – this is probably one of the most
controversial email collecting tactics used today. spammers visit
newsgroups and forums to extract all the emails on that newsgroup
for use in mass mailings.
pattern emails – spammers have developed software that
takes known domain names (domainname.com) and appends
common mailbox names to them (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org).
this is called a dictionary attack.
it is certainly time that local and federal government organizations
begin to set limits to decrease spam. it seems that this growing
problem has finally gotten the attention of the folks in washington,
and they are looking into ways of addressing the issue. there have
been four bills put forth by legislators, yet none has yet succeeded
in becoming law.
of course, our best defense in the "war on
spam" is for each of us to become more cautious about what
personal information we give out and to whom. we also need to discriminate
about what is in good taste and what is akin to a polyester-clothed,
door to door vacuum cleaner salesman eager to dump a load of dirt
on our carpet in order to sell his product.
my next article will explain ways to control spam.
future articles will examine current initiatives being taken by
the u.s. government and what is being tools are available to you
as seen in hudson valley business journal july 11,