From the March, 2003 Cyberspace News

Spam, Spam Everywhere

Are you getting record numbers of spam? No, not the meat product sold in grocery stores. By spam, I mean unsolicited mass-mailed advertising materials that are delivered to every email accounts you have.

Just a few general facts about spam:

• Your name and/or email address has been harvested and it is being sold (yes, sold!) for a fraction of a cent to bulk email lists.

• You cannot stop spam (unless you cancel your email account and get off the Internet entirely), but you can limit the amount you receive.

70% of spam that you receive with a ďremove me from your listĒ feature should not be responded to. All that does is let the sender know that your email address is active and your name will be resold gain and again and again, probably long after youíre gone. Total elimination of spam is a nice thought, but realistically, itís only a dream.

So whatís an Internet-user to do? Here are some tips for combating spam:

1. Have at least two email accounts. Use one for regular business purposes and the other for giving out online (for example, for doing online shopping, posting to newsgroups, etc. - basically, anything that you have to sign up for).

2. Before signing up for anything online, read the siteís privacy policy. Find out if theyíre going to share or sell your address. If no policy is posted, decide if you trust that site before giving out your email address.

3. Donít reply to or acknowledge any spam you receive. If you like what theyíre offering, go to a search engine and find a similar firm with a similar service that didnít send the spam. Donít reward a company for soliciting you, otherwise, youíre helping to make spam profitable.

4. Donít list your email address on your website. There are programs (bots) out there that constantly surf the web and harvest email addresses. You can always turn your email address into a graphic (bots canít read the text on graphics).

5. Use anti-spam software. Although the anti-spam features of your email program may help a little, chances are theyíre not strong enough to combat all the spam youíre receiving.

Spam is here to stay, but if you use the Web intelligently, you can control at modicum of the spam thatís being sent your way.

Source: <>/big>

3/31/2003 2015