Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Avoiding Spam When You Can

Do you hate junk eMails (Spam)? Do you ever wonder how the spammers get your eMail address? Here are some clues:

  • You go to one of the free sites on the Web that will send an electronic greeting card for FREE. To send it, you obviously give them the eMail address of the person(s) you want to send it to. They will also ask for your eMail address. Guess who you have just given those eMail address to.... drum roll please..... a company that collects verified, bona fide, currently working eMail addresses and sells them to Spammers! So you thought it was free, did you. If it sounds too good to be true....

  • Someone forwards you a Really Great Joke. Its so funny that you immediatly click "Forward" and fill in the names of many of the folks in your personal address book. Guess who found/wrote the joke and put it initially on the 'net.... you guessed it, the same folks who run the "free" greeting card site (or their first cousins). Many folks, when forwarding something like this, list all their friends on the "To:" address line. As a result, all of the eMail addresses that you send it to have ALL OF THE ADDRESSES YOU SENT IT TO listed! The spammers then sit back and have their computers locate this kind of forward circulating on the 'net. When they find it, they "harvest" the eMail addresses it has collected from all the folks who have forwarded. But wait, you REALLY like to send some of these jokes to your friends, right? You can avoid some of the trouble by addressing each of your friends on the Blind Carbon Copy (Bcc) line instead of the To: line. If you send them this way, then each copy has only the address of the single individual it went to.
Now, how about some reader input. If you have some additional information about keeping your eMail address out of the hands of the spammers, please step up and add it as a comment (see below) to this blog entry. Thanks for sharing!

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