Saturday, December 12, 2009

SPAM (PART 2)

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How Do Anti Spam Solutions Work?----

We have all suffered from these annoying dangerous spam emails. Most of us still do. There are excellent anti spam solutions in the market, there is no reason to tolerate this no more.

To understand the solution we must first understand the problem. So, what is this spam email? Spam is unsolicited, unwanted, irrelevant or inappropriate email. Spam email is mostly used for commercial purposes. Spam emails are also known as “junk mails”.

So, why do people are constantly searching for the best spam blockers? Why do the market of anti spam solution rolls billions of dollars a year? Well, these spam emails are time consuming and are annoying. But, more than that, they cost a lot of money. Why? First, because time is money. But more than that, billions of spam emails are loading lots of unnecessary data over the servers.

Therefore, big software companies constantly develop anti spam solutions, spam blockers and email spam filters.

Anti spam solutions basically do one or more of the following things:

1. Anti spam solutions check the senders’ names and addresses and filter the spam emails according to a black list of spammers they own and update.

2. Anti spam solutions check the recipients’ names and addresses and according to certain parameters, they filter the emails. Fr example, if the mail is sent to a large group sorted alphabetically, the email is considered spam.

3. Anti spam solution scan the emails (Their subject and body) and search for certain words or phrases such as “Viagra” and filter the spam email accordingly.

There are many kinds of anti spam solutions such as anti spam lotus, anti spam exchange 5.5, anti spam for outlook express and others. Some work on the server layer and some on the client layer. But basically, they all do the same job - Make your life better.

How To Know If It Is A Link Farm Spam Page------

A link farm is a network of sites that link to other sites for the sole purpose of increasing link popularity. This is when a website gets hundreds of links to unrelated sites in exchange for reciprocal links. This is termed as spamming and any website who relates to link farms is penalized by removal from a search engine’s index.

Backgrounder on Link Farms

Link farms were originally developed by search engine optimizers to take advantage of the Inktomi search engine’s dependence on link popularity. It was targeted for manipulation with the use of link farms because of the fact that it was used by a number of independent but popular search engines. The most popular search engines during that time – Yahoo! also used Inktomi results as a supplement to its own directory search feature. Link farms facilitated the stabilization of listings for online business websites having few natural links from more stable sites.

Link popularity is used by most search engines to come up with a ranking order for search results. However, at the time link farms came to be, the Inktomi engine was maintaining two indexes. The primary index produced search results that are limited to about 100,000,000 listings thus pages with few inbound links fell out of the index on a regular basis. While the handling of link farm exchange was informal at the start, several service companies were eventually founded to handle automated registration, categorization and link page updates to member websites.

The coming of the Google search engine paved the way for the use of a link weighting scheme called PageRank. The PageRank algorithm assigns more weight to links that it determines as more valuable than others. Link farming was used to help member pages to increase their PageRank. This soon became the subject of manipulation by unscrupulous webmasters who continue to receive inbound linkage but found ways to hide outbound links if not totally avoid posting any link at all to their sites. There came a need for link farm managers to implement quality controls and require member compliance to rules that were installed to ensure fairness.

As a result, alternative link farm products emerged such as the link-finding software that identifies potential reciprocal link partners. This made possible the sending of template-based e-mails that offered link exchanges. Directory-like link pages were created for those websites intent on building link popularity as well as PageRank. The link farm movement was actively countered by search engines as they sought to identify specific attributes associated with link farms thus filtering those pages from indexing and search results. There were instances where entire domains had to be removed to prevent the potential influences of link farms on search results.

Link farm-influenced crawling diminished as search engines increased their capacity to index more sites. It became unnecessary for link farms to help sites retain their positions in primary indexes. However, it remained a popular tool to increase PageRank or perceived equivalent values. The Inktomi technology has since become a part of Yahoo! while the term “Link Farm” is now widely considered as derogatory.

There is still an ongoing debate as to the value of using PageRank in determining search results ranking. Reputable search engines are one in recommending that webmasters request for relevant links to their sites instead of participating in link farms. Sites that participate in link farms run the risk of having their search rankings penalized.

Link Farm Spam Page or Not?

Link farms usually refer to sites with an almost boundless list of links to other websites rather than links from page to page within a site. Relevancy to a site is not a major consideration in determining the links as the major purpose of linking is to get a high ranking among search engines. The provisions of good information to users cease to be the goal of these websites as they concentrate on attaining search popularity through the sheer number of links.

When is a specific website said to be participating in a link farm? The current indication seems to be pointing at having not more than 100 links on a page as a safe measure. There are apprehensions of whether having numerous internal links will be interpreted as a link farm.

A link farm is composed of a group of web pages that hyperlink to every other web page in the group. It can be manually created but is most often created through automated programs and services. It is sometimes called spamdexing as it is a form of spamming the index of a search engine. A term that is often associated with it is the “spaghetti code” which is a code with a complex and tangled control structure that uses unstructured branching constructs.

The algorithmic principle that puts emphasis on the voting power of “authority sites” lies behind the manipulated processes of link farms. There is that assumption that related pages link to each other and authoritative pages tend to link to other authoritative pages. Conversely, being linked to spam sites or sites that use Black-Hat SEO degrades the reputation of any site. Association with poorly reputed sites affects a site’s search engine positioning as it stands to be categorized as an irrelevant site.

As spammers continue to go around the valid purpose of linking, the value of reciprocal linking continue to decrease. Too many irrelevant links provide no value and can be seen as spam by human experts and search engines. A link directory with no clear, organized and distinct categories of links can be interpreted as a link farm especially if there are already more than 50 links on a page.

TrustRank is used to counter the various techniques employed to achieve higher rankings than actually deserved in a search engine’s result. It uses a technique that manually identifies reputable seed pages and uses their link structure to discover other pages that are likely to be good as well. It aims to cut down on spam and deliver the real content that is desired by the searcher.

There are a number of ways to ensure that a website’s link directory does not end up being categorized as another form of a link farm. Incorporating a link directory into a website has its own advantages but caution should be taken so as not to have too many outbound links on a page that dilutes its value. If a website’s links are very much varied and tend to be unrelated, they will need to be categorized to become relevant to each other.

The use of clear, concise titles and descriptions for categories will help searchers (humans and search engines’ spiders alike) understand what a particular category is all about so that the measure of relevancy can out rightly be determined. It is not a requirement to agree to all link exchange requests especially if the requesting site cannot be considered a good representation of a site’s theme and values. It is highly recommended that regular follow-up on approved link exchanges is done to determine the status of the links and determine whether continued linkage with them is still acceptable. It is possible that although some links present themselves initially as good links have been banned, gone under, or moved. These are situations beyond anyone’s control so it is best for a website to work hard on keeping its links and contents relevant so as to bring continuous qualified traffic to itself. Link farms may be considered obsolete in a sense but it continuous to pop-up in different forms at present.

How to Reduce Spam in Your Inbox and Enhance Your Email Security----

Spam is the internet’s equivalent of junk mail. Spam is defined as an e-mail message sent to people without their consent or permission. Addresses of recipients are often harvested from Usenet postings or web pages, obtained from databases, or simply guessed by using common names and domains.

Spam is sent to promote practically any product or service ranging from “Adult” products to logo design for websites. It is also used by hackers to spread viruses or links to dangerous websites used to gather your personal information like credit card details or passwords for sites like Ebay or PayPal. To the average user these messages appear genuine. Even the link has a genuine looking domain name. This technique is known as “Phishing.”

Here are some smart strategies and tips you can employ now to start reducing Spam and boost your email security.

- Configure your anti virus software to automatically scan your incoming email for viruses. Email is still widely used to distribute malicious software. Make sure you keep your anti virus software definitions up to date.
- If you are someone that frequently signs up for “freebies” or other stuff on the internet start using a separate e-mail account just for this purpose. Accounts from providers like Yahoo!, Hotmail, and Google’s Gmail all come with generous storage as standard.
- If sites don’t accept free e-mail address from the services listed above then use a free disposable email service like Sneakemail - http://www.sneakemail.com.
- If you are posting your email to a blog or your website then submit it in a way that is only recognizable to a human. For example if your email is johndoe@hotmail.com then post it as “johndoe at hotmail.com”.
- Never open a message from an address you do not recognize – always delete it straight away. This is especially so if there is an attachment. Never reply to a message as this only confirms the email address is “live” to the spammers.
- If you get an official looking message from your bank or Ebay or another site you are not sure is genuine here is what you do. Instead of clicking on the link embedded in the mail log on to the site normally via your browser. If there are any genuine serious problems you should get a message when you log on. Alternatively contact the site’s customer service via the phone if possible.
- Consider using standalone spam filtering software. This software analyses your email for common characteristics of spam email including words like “click” or “teens.” It also compares senders’ emails against a “Friends List.” Try Mailwasher

How To Stop Spambots Harvesting Your Email Address----

It’s an unfortunate thing, but the internet certainly has its share of unscrupulous people. In my opinion, the worst amongst these are those that deploy software robots to roam the web and harvest email addresses from web pages. These addresses are then collated into huge databases and sold for the purpose of spam.

Now we all hate spam and anything that can be done to reduce it is very worthwhile. This is not rocket science and a basic knowledge of html and how to cut and paste will see you protected from the spambots. All we are going to use is a bit of javascript.

First, open Notepad or any text editor and then copy and paste the following into the file.

/* This script provides for a straightforward email address in a web page.
In your web page add the following:-
*/
function blocker(name)
{
var domain ="yourdomainname.com";
document.write('' + name + '@' + domain + '');
}

/* This script adds a subject field to the email.

function blockersubject(name,subject)
{
var domain ="yourdomainname.com";
document.write('' + name + '@' + domain + '');
}

/* This script is for using as an "Email Us" or like in a menu system or on a page.
Insert the following in your web page:-


function blocker2(name,text)
{
var domain ="yourdomainname.com";
document.write('' + text + '');
}

/* This script allows the adding of a subject, but also displayable text for a menu system. In your web page place the following:-
*/

function blockersubject2(name,subject,text)
{
var domain ="yourdomainname.com";
document.write('' + text + '');
}

//End of file.

Save the file as blocker.js in your document folders because this script can be reused over and over for as many different web pages as you like. You only need to change the variables in the script.

To get the scripts to work, there are a couple of things you need to do. I usually create a sub-directory for my javascript and actually call it that. Any javascript for the web page can be stored there. Save a copy of the file blocker.js to this directory and then edit all the variables to suit your site.

Now you need to allow the scripts to be called and the web page needs to know where they are. The easiest way to achieve this is to have the information in the section of your document. Before the closing tag, and assuming you have saved the file to a javascript sub-directory, insert the following line of code:-

(Insert less than sign)script type="text/javascript" src="javascript/common.js">(insert less than sign)/script>

You will just have to make sure that the path to the javascript sub-directory is correct for the document. This is simple if you use Dreamweaver as you can modify the template for your site and it will update all the pages. If you are using php includes, you will need to make sure that the path is correct from your header template through to the javascript directory. A little playing will usually get this sorted out for you.

One final thing that you should be aware of and that is that not everyone has javascript turned on. If a visitor hits your page and has javascript turned off then they won’t be able to see your email addresses at all. To resolve this, enter the following code just below the area where the email address is supposed to appear.

(Insert less than sign)noscript>

If you are seeing this, then Javascipt is not turned on in your browser and you won’t be able to see our email addresses. They are hidden by Javascript. You can either turn your Javascript on or alternately email us at youraddress at domainname dot com

(insert less than sign)/noscript>

Make sure you do not use the @ sign or put the dot in or even type the full email address properly. You will destroy all the good work you’ve done.

And there you have it. A simple piece of javascript that will prevent your email address being harvested by the nasty little bots that roam the web.
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If You Do Research On The Web You Really Need An Internet Spam Filter----


Spam has got to be one of the most annoying things on the Internet today. I remember when pop-ups first came on the scene, every website I went to was inundated with tons of pop-ups, I hated them, and I'm sure I wasn't alone. Spam flooded the Internet with so many copies of the same messages, it's a very shameful attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most spam is commercial advertising of get-rich-quick schemes, or products for younger looking skin. There are basically two types of spam and they affect Internet users differently. Cancelable Usenet spam is a single message sent to many Usenet spam is aimed at people who read newsgroups but rarely or never post and give their address away. Usenet spam robs users of the utility of the newsgroups by overwhelming them with a barrage of advertising or other irrelevant posts. Email spam is another type of spam that targets individual users with direct mail messages. Email spam lists are usually created by scanning Usenet postings and stealing Internet mailing lists, or searching for Web addresses. What ever IT is, it's not wanted and thank goodness there are plenty of websites were they will allow you to download free spam blockers.

Internet spam filters are a good way to block those pesky spam pop-ups, in fact, without them, there really is no way to get from website to website without Internet spam filters today. Even with spam filters, some pop-up can still get through. However, most Internet spam filters can recognize more than 98% of all incoming spam. There are Plugins that can be installed on your computer that will increase your Internet spam filters to the program. A Spamihilator does just what it says, it annihilates spam and e-mail spam. Most are freeware applications that works in conjunction with other Internet spam filters and some will send you a daily report by e-mail if you want that will tell you how much spam you receive during that day while you were online. This way, you can restore false-positives or add the senders to your friends or block them completely. You can create your own language file by editing an XML file. There are many good Internet spam filters you can trust to download on your computer today. It is a Federal offense for anyone who knowingly, with the intent to carry on any activity which would be a Federal or State crime of fraud or identity theft. Also in one “creates or procures the creation of a website or domain name that represents itself as a legitimate online business, without the authority or approval of the registered owner of the actual website or domain name of the legitimate online business and uses that website or domain name shall be fined under this title or imprisoned up to five years or both.

Methods to Fight Spam!!!----


Fighting Spam..

Industry experts estimate that three out of every five e-mail messages that are sent today are spam.

This is not only a nuisance; it is costing us all time and money which could be better spent on productive ventures.

Bizwala is committed to fighting spam & blocks a great deal without customer intervention. Our systems are updated daily and we are always working to improve our spam filtering.

Though we may never be able to block it all, we can offer some suggestions to combat spam effectively.
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Q: How can I prevent spam from reaching my e-mail account?

A: People who send spam compile their mailing lists in many ways. Methods to compile such lists include:

Sending spam to e-mail addresses that are most commonly used. A common tactic consists of building lists of targeted addresses that use frequently used words such as "webmaster" or "info" (for example, "webmaster@mydomainname" or "info@mydomainname").

Obtaining e-mail addresses that are automatically "harvested" from web sites by specialized software.

Compiling lists of e-mail addresses that are either chosen or generate at random (for example, " joe1@mydomainname", "joe2@mydomainname" or "joe3@mydomainname". This method is becoming increasingly frequent.

Because spammers often send spam to undefined e-mail aliases such as aabbcc@domain.com, ccddee@domain.com, mfrds@domain.com, you can combat the receipt of spam effectively by not using a catch-all address . (The catch-all is an alias that is used to recieve mail sent to undefined addresses/aliases .)

Q: What is spoofing and how can I fight it?

A: "Spoofing" occurs when a spammer uses some version of your domain name in the "From" address field. Spammers use spoofing to try to hide their identities and to pass blame for spam to innocent Internet users. The large amount of spam messages -- many of which are sent to invalid address -- result in a significant amount of "bounced" e-mail (that is, mail that returned as being undeliverable). Unfortunately, bounced mail is sent back to the address found in the "From" line of the spammed message.
Typically, the "From" line is also an undefined e-mail address not found in your mail settings. To combat receiving bounced mail messages, you can use the "devnull" alias that we mentioned in the previous question and answer.

Q: Even if my account is not generating any spam, can the mail server I use get blocked because of spam?

Unfortunately, yes. The main cause for blacklisting your mail server depends on where the spammed e-mail is ultimately received and how the ISP who maintains that location reacts to spam and to spam complaints. Many account holders with Bizwala forward e-mail messages that are sent to there hosting account. For example, a message sent to info@mydomainname could be forwarded to myaccount@aol.com or myaccount@yahoo.com. At other times, clients may be forwarding e-mail messages to accounts that are invalid or otherwise not in use. The processing of the forwarded e-mail message is handled by the mail server that your account uses (specifically, the MTA or Mail Transport Agent). Because a Bizwala mail server is the MTA, it is possible that the mail server could be blacklisted even though you (or any other Bizwala client) is not responsible for sending the spam in the first place.

In short, you must be careful about where you forward e-mail, how you report spam, and to whom you report it.

Note: Bizwala reserves the right to terminate a client's services for violations of our Acceptable Use policy. Unacceptable use includes forwarding e-mail messages to addresses that are invalid (not within the client's control) and/or sending mail with malicious intent.

Q: How can I filter spam in my Inbox once I receive it?

First, do NOT click any links in the spam or try to reply or unsubscribe to the spammed e-mail message. Often, these links will subscribe you to even more spam lists despite the fact that those links appear to promise that you will be unsubscribed. And, as spammers are always looking for legitimate e-mail addresses to spam, replying to a spam message in any way only tells the spammer that your e-mail address is valid.

Second, some e-mail programs have built-in functionality that deals with spam that reaches your Inbox. Outlook 2000 (and newer) is one such a e-mail program.

Outlook creates a folder called Junk Mail, where you can move junk e-mail and then review it before deleting. Or, you can have junk e-mail delivered to your Inbox, but color-coded so you can easily identify it. The list of terms that Outlook uses to filter suspected junk e-mail messages is found in a file named Filters.txt.

You can also filter messages based on the e-mail addresses of junk and adult content senders, allowing you to move or delete all future messages from a particular sender. You can review the Junk Senders list and add and remove e-mail addresses from it.

If you do not use Outlook 2000 or higher, please refer to your mail program's help files for any information related to spam filtering.

Q: Are there any low cost programs out there that I can install to help filter the spam?

A: Yes. There are many programs available that use a variety of methods to help e-mail end users filter spam. Effective spam prevention should include client-side software (that is, software that is installed on your local computer). Below are some links that you may want to visit:



Realize that there are many products on the market that you can install on help filter spam. However, as we are not affiliated with the vendors or authors of those products, we cannot specify which of those products would work best for your specific situation. We ask that you "do your research" in order to locate which product is best for you.

Q: The spam that is reaching me is being sent to defined e-mail accounts. What can I do about it?

A: If any of your defined e-mail addresses are receiving too many spam messages, it may be well worth it to you to change your e-mail address. For example, if "info@mydomainname" is the recipient of too much spam, it may be a good idea to delete "info@mydomainname" in favor of "information@mydomainname. We realize that this may be a tough decision, but such an action could be a huge benefit as it would immediately reduce -- if not entirely eliminate -- the amount of spam that you would be receiving at your e-mail address.

Q: How can I prevent my e-mail address from being added to spammer's mailing lists?

A: As mentioned above, spammers use a variety of methods to compile lists. We have created a help document that will give you some useful tips about how to prevent your e-mail addresses from being added to lists.

Protect Your Privacy

If you plan to enter your information to any Web site, please review the Terms of Service and Privacy Policies of the Web site. If the policies do not clearly indicate what will be done with your information, you should reconsider posting any details to that Web site.

Publishing Your E-mail Address on Your Web Site

Instead of having a simple "mailto" link on your Web site, such as "Please e-mail me at joe@example.com," consider using an approved form mail script that allows Web site visitors to fill out a form to send you e-mail. Bizwala offers such a script free of charge. This will help prevent e-mail address harvesting robots and other spammers from capturing your address. email support@bizwala.net if you need assistance in setting up a spam deterrent form mail

Member Profiles

Try to stay away from creating and posting a member profile, on any Web site, for others to see publicly. Spammers are always reviewing such information for new e-mail addresses.

Product Registration

Many of us register products online. Many times the product registration form has options pre-selected that enable the company to solicit you by e-mail, even though you may not want it. Be sure to review the options you are selecting and any options that may have been selected for you by default.

Posting to a Newsgroup

Never post anything to a newsgroup with your real e-mail address. Consider cloaking the address or using a "disposable" e-mail address. Consider creating and using an e-mail address from one of the free e-mail address providers.

Do Not Reply to Spam or an Unsubscribe Request

Never reply to a piece of spam or request to be unsubscribed. Your reply confirms that your address is working and provides the spammer the opportunity to add your address to their list or sell it to another entity. This actually helps facilitate more spam.

Report Spam

An effective way to help prevent spam is to report it to the ISP or mail administrator where the spam originated. Such reports help ISPs to identify the user or users who sent the spam. Report the spam, including full headers from the spam, to the ISP abuse department or postmaster e-mail address.

Federal law strictly limits the information that online service providers may disclose about their users. However, e-mail messages do contain some information about the sender.

E-mail headers contain an Internet Protocol (IP) address that corresponds to the sender's Internet service provider (ISP). A line in the e-mail message contains an 8 to 12 digit number, separated by periods. For example: "Received: from [123.456.78.91] by . . ." The "123.456.78.91" represents the ISP's unique IP address for the sender. Most spam headers have multiple "Received: from" lines. If the e-mail message has not been forged then, in general, the first such line from the bottom is the true origin of the spammed message.

After you identify the IP address, you can search to determine which ISP provides this person with Internet access. A Web site that attempts to determine the actual computer with that IP address is located at http://www.arin.net/whois/index.html


New IRS Scam Hits Email Mailboxes----

There is a new wave of email “phishing” that is showing up in email mailboxes this spring, unscrupulous scammers are now targeting the American public with email claiming to be from the IRS.

The ingenious fraudsters’ aim is to collect your Social Security number, credit card account information and banking account information. The emails, which look authentic complete with the IRS logo and privacy policy, lure people into providing this information by notifying them of an audit or offering them access to a link to collect their refund. Additionally, the web site that appears bears a striking resemblance to the official IRS web site (even the font type matches) and when people click home, it actually takes them to www.IRS.gov (the real IRS web site).

However, there are some flaws to these thief’s attempts to secure people’s private and personal information. This is what the public should know: In one of the scam emails in the browser or address bar at the top of the page it reads: http://tzk.kozle.pl and the information that is requested, Social Security number, credit card number, banking information (where the refund goes).

The public needs to know that the IRS generally does not communicate with them via email.

“We do not communicate with taxpayers via email. We may send you a letter, we may call you, but we do not send out email,” stated IRS spokeswoman Nancy Mathis.

In recent weeks up to one hundred complaints a day are reported regarding email scams and the IRS has found twelve web sites operated in eighteen different countries committing this type of fraud or other types of IRS related fraud.

If you get an email from the IRS and if you doubt its authenticity, it is best to call the IRS and verify that they did, in fact send the correspondence. Call the IRS at 1-(800) 829-1040 ask confirm if they are trying to contact you. To report a fraudulent or suspicious email claiming to be from the IRS, call the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1 (800) 366-4484. Furthermore, report any cases of identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission at

Phishing – It’s Signs and Your Options----

Phishing is the act of some individual sending an email to a user in an attempt to scam the user to release personal information. Is it easy to determine if it’s a scam? Sometimes – but not always. I hope to give you enough examples and information to help you to safeguard yourself from these unsavory individuals.

In addition, sometimes the email is sent to malicious software so as to render your computer helpless. Thus, it is important that you do not click on the link they provide, because that is the trigger that will load the software to your system.

EXAMPLES OF PHISHING

You receive hundreds of emails in your mailbox, but one email catches your eye – it directs you to a website, requesting that you need to update your personal information. It requests such personal information as:

passwords
credit card numbers
social security number
bank account numbers

“It appears to be legitimate”, you say to yourself. And you also notice that the emails are from companies that you have been doing business with for a while. Warning: The website could be bogus.

Here are several examples of phishing in action.

1. E-mails stating they are from E-bay and they feel that your account may have been compromised and would like you to verify your information with they so conveniently supply. DO NOT click on it.
2. E-mails from Paypal or your bank asking that you verify your information because they feel that your account has been compromised, or heaven forbid, suspended. Same scenario, different company. DO NOT click on the link.
3. E-mail that states that an unauthorized transaction has occurred on your account. Please click the link below and confirm your identity. DO NOT.
4. Here’s a work at home scam – We have seen your resume on Monster and feel you would fit our position. If you are interested, please go to our website, look over the experience required and submit your resume if you have this background. Website is professional looking, offer looks good – but it could be a scam.


WHAT ARE THEY AFTER

In the above examples they are after information about you, be it passwords, credit cards, social security numbers, anything that can identify you – and that which they can use to profit from you.

The job email is used to verify that the email address is a true blue, active email address. What do they do with this info – they sell these accounts to spammers for good money. They need to verify your email address—because if the spammers come up empty – this person’s business is dead.


HOW TO VERIFY SAFELY

1. If they want you to verify your account, do not cut and paste, or use the link they provide in the email. Close your Internet session, open a new session and enter the site that you have on record to verify.
2. Emails requesting resumes – Verify their account before you send your resume. When verifying – these red flags should be considered:

1) If they are hesitant to provide a phone number – might be a scam. 2) If their business address is not verifiable –might be a scam. 3) If the website is new – might be a scam. 4) If they use a large company’s name—and that company never heard of them – might be a scam.
5) Again, verify this information before you send your resume.


WAYS TO PROTECT YOURSELF

Here are some quick tips to protect you and your computer system.

1. Use anti-virus software and a firewall – keep them up to date.
2. If you have a broadband connection make sure you have a firewall in place.
3. Don’t email personal or financial information.
4. Before providing personal information – search to see if the site is secure – look for a lock icon. However, remember not all phishers are stupid – in fact, they could be computer savvy enough to forge security icons. Thus, look for a site whose link looks like this: https://www.somename.com -- this shows that it is a secure site.
5. Coupons from respected companies – Verify that it is a true-blue coupon from the company – I had one coupon sent to my email address from what I thought was Staples. Verified it with Staples – not a coupon honored by Staples. When on the Internet – if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, it still may not be a duck!
6. When making transactions on the Internet – be it online banking, Paypal, Internet Gold, etc. – complete your transaction, log out of the website, and close out of your Internet Explorer—and then continue with a new session of Internet Explorer.

WHERE TO FORWARD SPAM THAT IS PHISHNG

If you encounter spam that is phishing, or are a victim of a phishing scam, you can forward the information to spam@uce.gov and to the company, bank or organization that the email may have stated they are from. In many cases, the other organizations have information on their website where you can report the attempted scam.

In addition, if you have been scammed, and you wish to file a complaint – go to ftc.gov.

To conclude, no one is immune to spam or a scam. But try to be ever vigilant and do your due diligence with anything you do on the Internet. But being human is a scammer’s hope – they know that most will ignore the bait, but some will be tempted. So, if you so humanly slip, and succumb to a phishing scam, you can report them to
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Problems With Spam? Learn How To Treat It.------

The first step in your antispam campaign may well be to understand spam and how it works.

Spam is usually defined as unsolicited e-mail that is delivered in bulk. It has become so prevalent because it's cheap, reaches the greatest number of folks in the least amount of time, and because it's unregulated. In the U.S. alone more than 50 million citizens are online, with their own Internet accounts.

For spammers this is an ideal situation. Even were it not to work, there's virtually no punishment other than subsequent inability to spam until a way is found around it. And ways are constantly found around just about everything we do in our antispam campaign. That's not to say you shouldn't try though.

Here are some of the things you can do:

First, don't respond - not even to say, "Hey you not nice person, get off my computer." First, it's a waste of time. As soon as the first batch of spam has been sent that spammer may very well have deleted that email address. It'll just bounce back. The second is that you're not talking to a live person anyway. And any response, no matter how negative, is noted by their system as a response. What this means to the spamming system is, "Hey this guy is interested. He answered our message. Let's send him the second message." If you have a provider that lets you note spam then do so. Block it if you want but that seldom really works. It's worth a shot, though, unless you're limited to the number of blocks you can place at which point you'll be forced to pick and choose.

If your provider allows spammers to get through what is going to happen eventually is that other sites will begin to block your provider if they do in fact police spam. Then you'll have trouble sending and receiving e-mail. That's when you step in and tell your provider that they start blocking spam or you're gone. There's nothing like an irate customer threatening cancellation to spur them into action. If they should not respond by blocking spam, then do follow through and change providers.

The primary principle for preventing spam is to avoid mailing to a list. We're all tempted to organize our emails into lists - business clients, friends, and so forth. Then we mail them all the same message. Saves time and effort. The problem here is not that you sent out one message but you didn't use the software necessary to hide each person's email from the others.

Not only does this set you up for spam but it's also just plain rude. It's like telling all those folks what your sister-in-law's address and phone number is without first asking her if it's okay to tell the buddy of your best friend's high school teacher where she lives. No, it's not. But where spam is concerned what happens is that a few of those folks are undoubtedly going to add everyone whose address they see to their own list, and send it on and on and on ad infinitum. It snowballs, and sooner or later there's a spammer who receives your name and your e-mail address.

Don't sign up with a site that offers you an antispam service. "Sign up with us, they say, and we'll add you to an antispam list." Wrong! They're spammers and you're now on their list.

Real Businesses Send Spam, Too!-----

Unsolicited Commercial Email or Spam has grown at epidemic proportions. It is rapidly becoming the number one problem that Information Technology departments deal with on a day-to-day basis, surpassing computer viruses. The volume and percentage of unwanted email received in business and personal email inboxes is starting to overwhelm and drown out legitimate email.

Although the vast majority of this bulk email is being perpetrated by individual spammers and a few large bulk mailers pushing pornography, gambling, get rich schemes, ‘medicinal cures’ and bootleg software, real businesses have been caught in the web also by committing several errors. The three ways a legitimate business falls into the Spam mode are: 1. Legal non-Compliance, 2. Violating Trust, and 3. Lack of Value.

Legal non-Compliance

Through the end of 2003 it was very difficult to comply with Spam laws as twenty six states had passed their own laws dealing either directly with the process of sending unsolicited commercial email or the format requirements of bulk email.
With the passage of the Federal law – “Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act of 2003” or better known as the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003, it has become a lot easier to understand and apply the rules. Real businesses should have no problem complying with all aspects of the law and those that don’t will find themselves in legal jeopardy for significant penalties.

The process components of the law won’t be an issue for real businesses, they don’t fake the reply address, they don’t hijack someone else’s mail server nor do they contain falsified routing information. Where they are likely to fail are in three specific areas.

1) Neglecting to include a valid physical address in the body of the email.

2) Not having a functional Internet-based opt-out mechanism, which must be active for a minimum of 30 days after the email has been sent.

3) Failing to include clear and conspicuous identification that the message is an advertisement or solicitation. Most State laws approached this similar provision by requiring the use of the letters ADV: in the beginning of the subject line. The Federal doesn’t specify how this is to be accomplished; thereby, leaving it open to a wide range of interpretation.

There are several additional areas that are process related that may trip up the sender unintentionally.

1) The sender rents or purchasing a defective email list, for example one that has individuals that have already opted-out of email communications.

2) They use a ‘tricky’ subject line to entice recipients to open the message. Subject lines that stretch the truth could be identified as misleading the purpose of the email and therefore be a violation.

3) Agents or related 3rd parties that have business relationship with the firm send out Spam. This could put the company in jeopardy if it can be proven that they were aware of the related company’s activities.


Although the Federal law isn’t perfect one significant advantage it does offer to real businesses is that there is now only one place they need to go to check the rules before a company embarks onto an email marketing program.

Violating Trust

Trust is one of the major stumbling blocks keeping the publics’ enthusiasm for the Internet in check. And when it comes to providing their email address that is in the eye of the storm. The overwhelming concern people have about providing a company their email address is that it will be shared, loaned, rented, sold or carelessly unprotected. Sharing lists internally between product lines, departments, or divisions and externally with ‘business partners’ stretches the permission basis originally given by the subscriber. When opt-in lists developed at one website are resold to list brokers, real businesses that rent these lists automatically become spammers because recipients are typically applying this litmus test to commercial email they receive: “Email marketing is for product/service information I’ve specifically requested, Spam is sent without asking for it”.

Businesses embarking down the eMarketing path often have in-house databases that include email addresses of suspects, prospects, and clients. The conversion of these lists, developed on a relationship basis, to a formal subscriber list treads a fine line and should be considered very carefully before assuming that permission has been granted.

Lack of Value

Every time you send email to your list members, you will be judged, and in some cases, it may appear to have been done unfairly. In today’s environment subscribers are now becoming annoyed at a variety of shortcomings, such as messages about products they seldom buy, messages that serve the sender more than the recipient, unsubscribe processes that don’t work, ‘hard sell’ messages or even messages in formats that can’t be properly displayed in the recipient’s mail program.

The plain simple truth is that even in a permission email environment, recipients are now applying their own tests for Spam whether they opted in or not. These are natural human reactions to the mailings they receive – it can be as straightforward as “Email marketing is email I like, Spam is email I don’t like.”

How to Fix

Real businesses need to insure that they aren’t jeopardizing their brand name by meeting or exceeding the best practices for email marketing. Auditing the list, evaluating your content and insuring proper conformance with the documentation process in the permission mailing process are the key components to a successful campaign.

Save Time, Money and Hassle - Stop Spam-----


Spam can be an absolute nightmare, and one that seems to spiral out of control in some of my email accounts. If i've been away for a few days and haven't had a chance to check my emails, I dread having to open up my email client when I get back online in anticipation of hundreds or thousands of spam emails.

Although I simply delete these emails, for some, they seem legitimate messages that can often cause the recipient to become the subject of a fraudulent activity. An example of this that many people may have experienced are the emails that claim that you have won the lottery in some country that you probably haven't even visited, or emails that ask for you to help claim a substantial amount of money for someone who claims to be entitled to millions of dollars from a lost relative. These types of emails are laughable but for a lesser experienced internet user, they pose a great threat.

This was when I decided to use a spam blocker to prevent the hassle and time wasted deleting spam emails.

Spam has been around since the medium of email became popular. Even though there have been several laws passed that are trying to limit the amount of spamming activity, it still exists. A good way to stop the annoyance and the time wasted deleting spam emails is by using a spam blocker. They can also save you a lot of money in the scenario where you are unfortunate enough to receive a virus from a spam email. This has happened to me before, and I can honestly say I will now do everything possible to stop it from happening again because of the hassle and time it took to get my pc back to the way it was. In fact this took several weeks and numerous times formatting my hardware, which despite my best efforts resulted in quite a few programs and software being lost.

But why do people fall victim to spam emails? The truth is that the spammer is becoming cleverer in the way that they set up the scams. It was not so long ago that I received an email which was apparently from Paypal. The email was pretty well written and even the links seemed to point to the Paypal site. I felt it was not genuine though as it asked me to click a link to visit the "Paypal" site, whereas I had read some time ago never to click a link in an email to visit the site, but to type the address directly into your internet browser so that you can rest assured that the site is genuine. It is a distinct possibility that many internet users will have fallen for these types of emails.

Do not become a victim of the consequence of spam emails. A spam blocker is a simple solution that will prevent the emails from ever reaching your inbox. They can save you time, money, hassle, and any potential problems that spam emails possess.


Simple Steps to Defeating SPAM----

GMail SPAM filter is fighting a losing battle. I am doing some ANTI-SPAM testing. For the past 4 months I have been very public with my Gmail email address, signing up for newsletters, using it on forms, and sharing it publicly on forums, blogs, and discussion boards. I expected to get SPAMMED to death, that's exactly what's beginning to happen. Everyday, I receive about 20 junk emails. I know that is small, but for someone who is use to never seeing SPAM in their inbox, it's a quite bit.

I did this sort of testing, once before with Yahoo! Mail, and I took the time to get rid of all my SPAM (from coming into the inbox). I'll share my secret.

1. First, you should have 3 email addresses; (@.hotmail, @.yahoo, @.gmail). These 3 email addresses should represent your public (personal) email address, your business email address, and your spam catcher). Remember the less you publicly use your email address, the less SPAM you'll have.

2. If you wish to use your public or business email address, each site you travel to, (which you plan or must share your email address) you should check the site Privacy Policy. You don't have to study the policy, but finger through it and see what their policy is about sharing your information. If the policy doesn't have this clause or the site doesn't have a Privacy Policy (visibly linked) then be skeptical and assume this site plans to share your information. Many sites claim to be legit and have a privacy policy in place, but through the backdoor they sell your information, so never put all trust into the privacy policy, just make good judgment. The best thing about managing your SPAM is that you can speculate how someone got your email address, because your amount of SPAM is down to a minimum and you are securely managing your email address. Any place you need to enter your email address and you feel skeptical about using your public or business email address then you should enter your spam catcher email.

3. Your public (personal) email address should be used for public trusted sources, such as: on forums, discussion boards which you frequent. You should use this address only on sites which you trust and visit on a day-to-day or occasional basis. Your public email address should be used for sign-up forms (only sites you want information from). Your public email address should also be used to subscribe to newsletters which you initiate. Your public (personal) email address should be your most commonly used email address for basic day-to-day communication. This is the email address you should share with family, friends, and co-workers.

4. Your business email address should be used for business contacts. In fact, your business email should NOT be a free email address, it should be an email address with your company, your website, or your business name (example: @.yourcompanyname.com). If you don't have a company, business, or website then use a free email address and make this your email address for professional purposes, such as putting this email on your resume, etc. This should be for extremely trusted sources. You should only share your business email address with individuals you connect with one-on-one on a professional or business level. Example: You shouldn't share this email address with the customer service staff of a company, but you should share this email address with the CEO of the company. This is your exclusive email address. In some instances you may share your business email address with the customer service staff, but the source should be trusted and you should make good judgment. Example: If the company plans to send you sensitive information via email, like money market account information. Your business email can be used for signing up at sites which you will use your credit card and is a highly respectable and honest site, world renown. This email should only be used with those whom you trust with your information and trust will not share or send you advertisements. You should only use this email address to get company related information or information which directly affects you or your business on a consumer or business level. You should NEVER publish your business email address on any website, forum, discussion board, or any other publicly available media.

5. Your spam catcher email address is the email address you should use at any time you feel skeptical, when you don't trust a site, or when a site doesn’t provide you information that you wish to receive. Many sites have products, programs, or services which you want, but to register or to move forward you must enter an email address (and most of the time the email address must be valid and confirmed), therefore you should have a spam catcher email address, for non-trusted sources. Using your spam catcher email address you could easily register at any site while using a valid email address, which you can log into and confirm the authenticity of the email addresses.

6. Use the 'Report Spam' feature of your email client. Most online and now even software (local install) email clients have a 'Report Spam' feature which blocks the delivery of future mail from the sender. It is important to make good use of this feature, because it will help keep your inbox free of unwanted mail. The only email addresses you are worried about receiving spam from is your personal email address and business email address, the spam catcher email address should not be an account you log into daily, you should only log into your spam catcher email address to confirm an email. At this point you shouldn't receive any spam into your business email address account, if you followed the steps above, but if you do then make sure you use the 'Report Spam' feature so you can block future delivery. Use the 'Report Spam' feature immediately when you receive spam so there is no delay and to be sure you don't miss a spam message. In your personal email address account you will probably receive spam messages or unwanted mail, if you do then make sure you use the 'Report Spam' feature each time you receive a piece of unwanted mail, within a few months and good email address management (following the steps above) you should never or rarely see any spam coming into your inbox.

If you receive any mail into your inbox, then make sure you use the "Report Spam" feature within the email client. This should soon eliminate any mail you do not wish to have. Following the steps above is imperative to getting a good clean inbox. Managing your email address is ultimately your responsibility and you should know who you share your information with. Most people use only one email address for all their communication, this technique is not the best option. You should use at least 3 email addresses adhering to the steps above. You can simply log into one account, your personal email address or your business email address and just have the email from the other forwarded to the account you log into most. You can also send email from the account under either your personal or business email address. Setting up forwarders and multiple sender accounts is not a hard task in the 3 major online email clients. For some additional steps may need to be taken, like with Yahoo! you must have a paid account to forward your email, but from Gmail you can automatically forward your email where you like for FREE. So, if you forward your Gmail email to your Yahoo! account and setup multiple accounts within your Yahoo! Account then you are in good shape. Use the Hotmail account as your spam catcher. This is just a thought, but you can set it up any way you like, its your preference. Currently, I have a paid Yahoo! account and I use my Yahoo! account as my business email address. I use my Gmail account as my personal email, and I use my Hotmail account as my spam catcher. My Yahoo! mail is forwarded directly to my Gmail account, and I have a sender account setup in my Gmail account, which will send mail as my Yahoo! email address. I use Gmail Notify and know instantly whenever I receive new mail from either my public (personal) or business email address. I rarely log into my Hotmail account, only to confirm an email or just to login so my account doesn’t close. This proactive approach has kept my inbox clean for years and now I’m sure it will help you with your fight against SPAM!

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