by | Aug 11, 2018

What’s Spam? And what you need to know to about it.

Spamming is a fact of life!

Spamming is a business.

In fact, spamming is a big, actually a very big business.

Spammers send out millions of emails a day. If they get 2 or 3 people to respond they make money or gain access to someplace they should not be.

Spammers visit chat rooms, forums, etc. and use software to copy e-mail addresses. Spam e-mails are easy to set up, all you need is a keyboard.

The best way to fight spam is to be aware and set your email account up using the tools in your account.

Even if you have one of the best spam filters on the market, some spam will always make it through.

Are you using the best spam filter on the market? The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind. Seriously there is no best one spam filter. You need a filter that fits your needs. All the big companies provide filters and there are many third-party email programs that give you more options. I use a program called Thunderbird, it’s free and has many settings that allow you to set your account at a higher level of security than many of the ones provided by the major suppliers of email accounts (Gmail, yahoo, Microsoft, live, etc.). Why do I use a third-party program? The big companies make decisions that impact everyone. It reminds me of my grammar school days when one kid did something wrong we all were punished.

Most likely you already have some type of spam filter on your account that automatically identifies spam. However, it’s not perfect. This is why you need to check your spam folder on, at least, a daily basis and clean it out.

E-mail programs use filters to identify spam.

Here’s some information on how spam filters work. It’s a general overview that highlights how a spam filter works. Each e-mail provider is different and your email provider should have ways to adjust your settings.

USER filter.  This is controlled by you and the most widely used one. You can use this filter to set up where the email goes. You can set up folders for friends, stores you shop, magazines, etc. Easy to set up and normally based on the FROM email address.

HEADER Filters. This filter looks at the information in the e-mail heading which is much more than you see. The filter looks at it and makes a decision, based on your set up, what it should do. It also may interface with another file that identifies patterns. One commonly used file is SpamAssassin.

LANGUAGE Filter. This filter blocks emails in language other than, in my case, English. Normally a setting in your email program.

CONTENT Filter: This filter looks at what is actually in the email. One trick spammers use is to say they are from a reputable company and ask you to click on a link to get back to them. DON”T!! First hover over the link and look at where it is going. Normally you will see the real return address someplace on your screen. It may look like it’s from, say PayPal but the return address is something like Customerservce@PayPal.ru.com this is a fake address because of the .ru Again, don’t respond, don’t ask to unsubscribe (doesn’t work), just mark as spam and delete.

WHITE & BLACK Filters: You can add address that you always want to see to your white list. This normally overrides all the other filters as you have confirmed you want to see this address. The black list is just the opposite, if an address is on this list it gets deleted. Both of these lists are based on how you set your account up.

As I said this is a general overview. If you have any questions let me know.

In closing I want to stress that as much as you would like to yell and scream at the spammer. Don’t! Use the delete key or identify message as spam in your account. Any interaction with them, including unsubscribes (they don’t) keeps you on their list.

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