Monday, May 12, 2014

Computer Spam--it's terrible meat!

I'm getting annoyed, but, unfortunately, I have no solution to my problem.

My E-mail inbox is getting saturated with what I consider to be just plain spam.  Spam e-mail is simply unwanted e-mail, usually advertising something I neither want nor need.  The amount of this spam to me has now grown to somewhere between three and four hundred a day.  Might be a slight exaggeration as I've never counted them, but they're now coming in four to eight at a time just about every ten to fifteen minutes.

Another type of spam is the occasional plea from some foreign country "official" that says some potentate or very rich person has died and left millions to someone who doesn't want to pay taxes on it.  So he sends me, or you, or both of us, an e-mail that says he's split the millions with me if I'll just open a bank account for him, or something like that.  Of course, I need to deposit, or send him a check, for, oh, say, five thousand dollars to pay for the costs.  I can think of more productive ways to rid myself of $5,000.

The only way I could stop the practice of receiving spam would be change my e-mail address.  Since I own my own domain with many addresses available to me, changing addresses would be a simple task.  There are just two problems:  I'd have to continually notify legitimate senders, like friends and family, of the new address.  I'm sure they'd get rather tired of having that exercise too regularly; and the spammers would very soon get that new address and just continue filling it as if nothing had changed.

At least one spam e-mail tells me of a business offer where I could get addresses to start my own advertising business.  That will never happen.  Other offers include getting free coupons for various businesses.  Open that letter and then see how many more of such offers quickly begin pouring into your mailbox.  I get many offers of meeting new "friends" and even offers of pictures of the chicks in my area.  I get 10 or 15 e-mails daily with offers to "increase my wife's bedroom pleasure."  I must admit at almost 80 years old, those e-mails are tempting. 

On and on I could go with these things.  I'm sure, though, you get enough to know what I'm saying here.  There are many ways that one gets on those mass mailing lists.  Reply to one of them and see how many more you get that same day or no later than a day or two.  Open one from an unknown sender and a small bit of language tells the spammer and you're there forever. 

It's easy for spammers to send out hundreds of e-mails at a time.  I'd bet most of you reading this, like me, have at least one and probably more distribution list where one click will send a message to family members or friends with like interests.  There many ways to get on spam lists.  One of them, believe it or not, is clicking on the message's "unsubscribe" button.  That is a absolute guarantee you'll end up on more spam lists and, usually, not get unsubscribed to the original list.  Now that is only when it concerns spam, or unsolicited, e-mail.  Unsubscribing to most legitimate business will usually work.

I get one spam almost daily from someone who identifies herself as an admission's person from the University of Maine.  (In case you see this, there's no one by the name of "Dylan" at this address.)  She identifies herself, I think, but then tells me I opted in to receive those e-mails by opting to unsubscribe from some other list.  If I believed the address she gives was legitimate, I'd be tempted to write to her that I'm not Dylan and, especially considering my age, I'm no longer a high school student looking for a university and she's simply wasting University money. 

Another way to identify spam:  Look at the sender's address.  If it is totally unknown, then you should consider three times before you open the e-mail.  Also, if it looks ridiculous or has a long list of numbers with, perhaps, a few letters, that's another hint.  Or, like one I received just today which included (edited here to eliminate most of it to protect you from accidentally hitting it) a mascot name incorrectly spelled.  " gater.standsxxxxxxxxxxxxx Or write to: (a street address) in Gainesville Florida."  I'd find it hard to believe anyone in the home town of the Florida Gators couldn't spell that name correctly.

I do have a super spam finding program that tells me when I have spam or other e-mail I've identified to it as spam has entered my mailbox.  A quick press of a button erases it even before it hits my computer.  But it's not totally foolproof and, as I mentioned earlier, it is that program that tells me I've got all those messages just waiting to be erased.  It is annoying.

I'd like to send each of the companies the spammers are advertising that their irritating messages have caused me to stop using their services.  Other than that, I'd love to learn of a way to permanently stop those very unwanted and useless spam messages.