Spam: More than just a tin of meat
on the email
Spam:. If you are a
regular user of email, you will have come across the word spam.
The first time I heard the word I was genuinely concerned. Spam to me
is a tin of strange-tasting processed meat. I still have flashbacks from
my schooldays, attempting to wash down nasty spam sandwiches with even
more unpleasant orange squash. However, today, most people recognise spam
as new manifestation of something nasty
Penis extensions Now
I am Mr A. Mukaba - Finance Director of ..
send me money now I will make you very rich
-Makes your hair grow back too!
Urgent message for Mike
Best XXX on the Web
Spam is the online mass sending of unsolicited emails, often associated
with commercial advertising of some sort normally of a dubious
nature, such as get-rich-quick schemes, pyramid marketing schemes, quasi-legal
services, adult products etc. In other words, spam is the act of flooding
the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force
the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it.
The spammer will go to any means to acquire Internet email lists, for
example scanning Usenet postings, stealing mailing lists or electronically
searching the web for addresses. All for the purpose of bombarding an
unaware audience with unwanted email solicitation. Can you imagine someone
knocking on your door every five minutes to hand you an advertising brochure
or pamphlet? Even the most mild mannered of us will eventually feel violated
and get cross. This is essentially what spam does, except it's your email
account that is targeted and not your front door.
Why is spam bad? There are several reasons why the majority of Internet
users are continually up in arms whenever the topic of spam is raised.
Terence Boothe, 28, is a Web designer based in London. He has been using
the Internet daily for four years. "My job requires me to be on the
'net everyday, and I use email to communicate with clients as well as
business associates. Spam is simply a frustrating and time-consuming headache.
This is particularly true when you have been the target of an aggressive
spammer and have opened up your email account, three days in a row, to
find 30 new spam messages each day. The junk mail slows your system and
you then have to go through the delete process. It is a waste of time."
Terence has a very valid point, in recent surveys, Internet users claim
wasted time and incurred cost as two of the main reasons they hope spam
becomes outlawed. Terence continues "It may take only a few seconds
or so to delete each unwanted email, but if a spammer sends out 3 million
emails a day, easily done with just the touch of a button, that equates
to over 8,000 wasted hours a day, not including the additional costs associated
with paying local phone charges to stay online". Many people - anyone
with measured phone service - read or receive their mail while the phone
bill is running. Therefore spam costs them money. Additionally, it costs
money for Internet Service Provider's (ISPs) and online services to transmit
spam, and these costs are transmitted directly to subscribers. To the
spammer, costs are minimal. Bang for buck - spam is effective for businesses
looking for maximum exposure on the Internet with minimum costs. This
is another reason why spam keeps rising its ugly head.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of spam is content. Not many of us
like regular advertising, but at least we know there is a minimum standard
of decency. This is not the case for spam, where childrens email
accounts can easily be a target for indecent adverts. To the spammer it
is just another email address. As more young people adopt the Internet
as their preferred form of communications, the issue of standards and
need for control of spam becomes essential.
There is one other type of spam. Cancellable Usenet spam is a single message
sent to 40 or more Usenet newsgroups. Usenet users have found that any
message posted to so many newsgroups is often not relevant to most or
all of them. Usenet spam is aimed at "lurkers", people who read
newsgroups but rarely or never post and give their address away. Usenet
spam blocks users from taking advantage of the newsgroups by overwhelming
them with a barrage of advertising or other irrelevant posts. Furthermore,
Usenet spam subverts the ability of system administrators and owners to
manage the topics they accept on their systems.
So what is being done about spam? There are a number of active organisations
seeking to ban spam. One such organisation is the Forum for Responsible
and Ethical Email (FREE). According to their mission statement, FREE was
formed 'to stop the practice of sending unsolicited boilerplate broadcast
messages through email'. In order to accomplish this mission, FREE engages
in a three-pronged approach to combat spam. First, the organisation assists
ISPs in gaining access to software, personnel and knowledge necessary
for ridding their systems of unsolicited emailers. The second step in
their strategy is to educate end users in the tracking of unsolicited
emails as well as in public education and anti-spam activity and mobilisation
procedures. The last step is of grassroots political efforts aimed at
furthering the organization's goals; and the active lobbying of governmental
bodies to create and pass laws which would end the practice of spam emailing
through civil and/or criminal penalties.
Two UK companies that have taken spammers to court are London-based Internet
company BiblioTech and global giants Virgin. BiblioTech is pursuing transatlantic
purveyors of spam in US courts. BiblioTech is the provider of a free web-based
email service called Postmaster (www.postmaster.co.uk) and recently announced
that it has rejected settlement overtures from spammer Sam Khuri who operates
an Internet-based print supply company under the name "Benchmark
Print Supply". Instead, Bibliotech plans to continue diligent prosecution
of its lawsuit against Benchmark and a half dozen other defendants in
a US District Court. BiblioTech MD Nabil Shabka explains "Our goal
is not just a spam-free Postmaster email system. Instead, we seek a spam-free
Internet. As long as spam-related settlements protect only the complaining
ISP, rather than all ISP's, there will always be another target for the
So what if as a consumer, I want marketing and promotional solicitation
coming into my email address? The answer is permission marketing. The
objective of legitimate online advertisers is to change the way online
advertising is acknowledged by consumers. If advertisers are able to make
a distinction between spam and legitimate online direct mail, they will
be able to use the Internet's advanced profiling and targeting capacity
to deliver relevant and useful messages to accepting audiences. The model
for this approach is built around consumers agreeing to learn more about
a company and its products or services. In other words, consumers give
'permission' to have direct mail sent to them.
How is this accomplished? There are several scenarios. New users signing
for an online service usually have to go through a registration process.
When they do, they are presented with a field on the form that asks if
they would like to receive information on products or service that may
be of interest to them. Sometimes 'interest' lists are included, such
as cooking, music, sports etc. If the consumer highlights these fields,
he or she will then get direct advertising messages of immediate interest
to them delivered to their email address. In essence, these are referred
to as 'opt-in' databases. If the consumer decides not to receive any solicitation,
then the service provider will block or attempt to block any direct email
being sent to that person.
Permission marketing is based on the concepts of relationship building
and customer service. Sweepstakes, games, contests and unique interactive
campaigns are the basic tools for implementing such a strategy. Consumers
are directed to enter contests and win prizes. In exchange, consumers
agree to receive advertising messages from sponsors or specified companies.
The core principle is to contest for peoples attention
consumers volunteer their attention
and create loyalty.
The thing to keep in mind is that if, as a consumer, you leave yourself
unprotected on the Internet - you will become a victim of spam. However,
if you take appropriate steps to protect yourself and volunteer your email
address only to legitimate opt-in databases, you can take full advantage
of Internet advertising, one-to-one direct marketing and targeting, online
shopping and ecommerce, saving yourself time and money. Ultimately, being
aware of spam is the first step toward having such a fruitful and positive
experience on the world wide web.
© Manou Marzban September 2002
Editor suggestion: Hotmail spamkiller just released.
McFee have announced Spamkiller
which will work with Hotmail and POP3 accounts. there is also Mailwasher
but sadly doesn't work on Hotmail or Yahoo.
CAN"t Get Enough Spam? Please Spam these guys back!
FROM: DR. THOMAS BALOGUN.
DIRECT TELEPHONE : 234-1-7760387 fax, 234 1-7599435
WE ARE SENDING THIS LETTER TO YOU BASED ON INFORMATION GATHERED FROM
THE FOREIGN TRADE OFFICE OF THE NIGERIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND
INDUSTRY. WE BELIEVE THAT YOU WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO HELP US IN OUR
TRANSFER THE SUM OF FORTY-ONE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS
($41.5M USD) INTO A FOREIGN ACCOUNT.
or This one
Dear, I am contacting you with the greatest delight and personal respect.
I am Prince Frank W. Tarawally, the first son of Chief.K S Tarawally Personal
Assistant to the former minister of Mineral Resources of the Republic
of Sierra-Leone who was recently murdered by the Forces Loyal to Corporal
Foday Sankoh, due to his support to the incumbent elected President Tejan
Kabbah to remain in the office as reported on the cable Network News (CNN)
and (BBC) Few days before my father was assassinated,he confided in me
and ordered me to go to his underground safe and moved out immediately
with the deposit agreements and cash receipt he made with a Security Company
in Lagos Nigeria, where he deposited two trunk boxes which contains cash
sum of US$30,000,000 (Thirty million United States Dollars). I successfully
smuggled out of the country to Lagos , Nigeria, with the help of some
rebels loyal to My father and have gone to the Security Company with the
deposit Documents to confirm the deposit myself. Unknown to the Security
company my father declared the contents of the trunk box as AFRICAN ARTEFACTS
belonging to his foreign partner, that the keys are with him/the foreigner
in order to prevent them from knowing the real content. I am now seeking
for your direct assistance to front you as the owner of the consignment
and lift the fund out of this country to your base for onward profitable
investment which necessitated my contacting you. We are to open a non
residential Bank Account in Lagos Nigeria in your name through which the
fund will be remited to your Bank Account abroad and your reward for this
noble assistance is negotiable. Further detail will be made known to you
on confirmation of your interest to assist me towards this project You
will also confirm to me that know third party should hear about this transaction.
Contact me through the email and let me have your telephone and fax numbers
for easier communication. Expecting your immediate response. Yours sincerely.
Prince Frank A W Tarawally Contact Tel: 234 1 4716808
Spam this bastard have you ever met a Prince called Frank!
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