Protect Yourself from Spam
Monday, July 16, 2012
Posted by: Alan Strong, Association Director
You just got an email that wanted to ask your opinions on how you make decisions on buying a car. Or maybe one that tells you just won an iPad, or a free flight to anywhere in the U.S.A.
Sounds compelling right? A five to 10 minute survey and you will have a shiny new iPad or free flight. WOW, let's get started right away, and take the 10 minutes right now to complete the survey!
Then….you notice that there are lots of questions about how to contact you especially through email. A lot of the surveys want to know your buying habits, what your earnings are, whether or not you will be in the market to by an auto or a home or some other commodity?
Why do you think these questions are being asked? What do you think they do with this information?
You may in fact win an iPad, but you are much more likely to have your email address on a whole bunch of spam lists Maybe it's an email that promises to lower your interest costs on your home? How many loan brokers do you think your email and personal information will be sold too?
If you go about answering these questions from people you don't know, there is a great chance your email will be bombarded with spam emails on a regular and annoying basis. Believe me this does get annoying.
Spam is difficult to get rid of. Trying to identify where the mail is coming from is difficult as well, as the email extension changes constantly.
Take my advice be cautious on what you fill out on-line. Being on the wrong end of spammers is very annoying and I don't wish that on anyone. Get a good spam catcher. Make sure it is able to not only catch the email extension that the spam is coming from, but also able to catch the Subject Matter and keep similar emails from reaching you as well.
The U.S. Government is trying to curb spam and has a group that is supposed to monitor and go after people who are spammers. However, many of them are out of this country, and we have little jurisdiction over them. You can try to inform them of any spam you are receiving by contacting them, but don't expect immediate relief. Their email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Enjoy your computer and your ability to use email. But be cautious about the choices you make it answering questions that come from unknown sources.
Let us know your techniques for curbing spam by leaving a comment. Just click on the "Add Comment" link below.
Alan Strong, CDP
Western Region Director-AITP
Editor's note: Spam is not new. It is been a problem, and a growing problem at that, for a long time. Want to learn more about spam…how the word "spam” came about and some history behind the phenomenon? Several years ago AITP ran a series of articles about spam. It is amazing how much of these articles are still relevant and right on target today.