Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Spam Tricks

God I hate spam. The latest trick I've been seeing, is messages arriving in my e-mail box with artificially old dates. Since I have my e-mail normally sorted by date (like many people), these spams arrive "off-screen" and waste a bit more of my time as I scroll down to find them. I always know they are there, because my Inbox shows unread messages that clearly aren't visible.

The best defense is to take care with who (or what) can get your e-mail. My ISP allows me to create/remove e-mails at my whim, so I generally always create a special account when signing up for something online. This payed off recently, when I joined a contest for Mt. Dew online. As soon as I joined, my spam to the special account I created jumped to 100 or so junk messages a day!! Jeese, Pepsi sold me out fast enough! I deactivated the account so that spammers would get bounced e-mail. After 2 or so months, I thought I would fire up the account again to see what happens. Not an hour after the account was reactivated, I got several spam messages. By the end of the day, I had about 20 messages! Damn these guys are persistent. Needless to say, I've deep-sixed that account for good.

Fortunately, Netscape's Junk mail filter does a pretty darn good job of catching 98% of the spam I get, but its still annoying. My ISP has something called "SpamAssassin" that I've never turned on, but I've not felt that I've needed it just yet. I'm only getting about 5-10 messages a day that are junk, and that I can tolerate (knocking on wood here).

Now if I could just find a similar tool for filtering out the credit card and mortgage loan ads from my snail mail box, I'd be in pretty good shape!


Don Snabulus said...

Ah, time for lunch. How about a nice spam sandwi...hey.

SpamAssassin is a godsend for dealing with heavy spam. I can always tell when it isn't running at my ISP. I've received probably over 200+ messages today alone.

If you own a domain, your e-mail address can easily be picked up by spammers using WHOIS. That is one reason why I get a million mails. May Network Solutions and their competitors get an incurable fungus in an unnamed bodily region.

Another reason is that all mistaken mails at my domain come to me. So I get a great deal of speculative e-mail to the site. I will probably need to figure out all my important aliases, set them up, and bounce the rest.

Luckily my e-mail client, PMMail for Windows, has a macro language for filtration, so I can shunt most spams (and the occasional legitimate e-mail) into a special folder to be dealt with later.

Right now I am getting so many that if someone I didn't know wrote me (like regarding the web), I would probably delete their message without reading it. Sad, but life.

Sounds like it is time for a re-write of mail protocols...

DewKid said...

I forgot to mention the thing I hate MOST about spam. It's not even real MEAT!!!! mmmmmmm

Don Snabulus said...

Isn't Spam chicken lips and pig beaks and cow toe nails or something?

Don Snabulus said...

I got 65 more since the 12:33pm post. Mmmmbrtttt!

ladybug said...

buy a MAC-Smurfy!

DewKid said...

?? Smurfy?? Mac?? Smokin' too much weeeeeed.

The Moody Minstrel said...

Just be careful with ISP spam filters. For some reason, some of them have my ISP blacklisted, so I can't send e-mail to people using such filter services.

(I know what you're thinking...it's a bad habit of mine...but I've had some such people e-mail me asking me why I haven't been messaging them...and my replies get bounced back with a "Your IP address has been identified as a possible source of spam" message attached.)

Turkey Spam rocks!!!!!