All About Spam
Spam is annoying. Period. Why people would want to send all
of us stupid messages about buying prescription drugs or
getting some outrageously good mortgage rate is beyond me.
Well, not really.
You might ignore those emails. But not everyone does. And
that's why they're sent. Emails cost so little (or nothing) to
send. So sending out a million of them could be a cakewalk.
Let's say one out of every 1,000 recipients falls for their
ploy. Someone just got 1,000 new customers!
How in the heck did those spammers get your address in the
first place? Well, they actually use a variety of techniques.
They use programs called spambots to search the web and pick up
any email addresses that could be listed on websites. They use
what's called the "Dictionary" technique, where they take a
well-known email extension (earthlink.net, for instance), and
make up all kinds of possible user names to go with it. For
example, with me they could try the usernames "kara", "kara1",
"kara2" and so on, until they can confirm one of those
connected to an earthlink.net extension is a valid email
address. Kinda like going page by page through the
Ever fill out a registration form on a website and find a
little checkbox, probably near the bottom, asking if you want
to receive additional information, newsletters, or something of
that nature? Often the box is checked, and in order NOT to
receive the info, you have to UNCHECK it (or else). Well if you
miss those types of boxes on the wrong kinds of sites, your
email addresses may be handed to spammers on a silver platter.
Well, almost. Often a zillion email addresses are sold for next
to nothing to spammers on CDs. (Couldn't you almost call those
Many internet service providers (those guys that keep you
connected to the internet so you can send and receive email)
use a variety of methods to block spam before it ever gets to
you. Nevertheless, we all know that some spam inevitably gets
through to our inboxes. That's when we need to take a proactive
stance and install some sort of software to filter it
Back to top |
Print this page