Dealing With Unsolicited Email (Spam)
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Thread: Dealing With Unsolicited Email (Spam)

  1. #1
    rebmeM roineS enilnOitnA steve.milner's Avatar
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    Dealing With Unsolicited Email (Spam)

    Introduction

    The volume of spam in increasing and in the short term it's only likely to get worse. What can be done about it?

    Continue reading for some practical tips.

    Step 1 - Avoid Spam

    The best way to deal with spam is not to get any. In order to do this it is necessary to understand where the spammers get your email address from.

    The Center for Democracy and Training have performed some research which is very enlightening.

    http://www.cdt.org/speech/spam/030319spamreport.shtml

    (My Apologies. I know this has been posted on AO before, but I can't find the article - If the author can give me the article I'll edit this to pass on the credit)

    Basicall, to avoid your email from being harvested for spam do not publish it correctly on websites, usenet news or other publically accessible places on the internet. You can obfuscate your email address in several ways to allow humans to read it, but not the computers that harvest emails:

    * Publish an image with your email address in it.
    * Add extra text a.person@removethishotmail.com
    * Spell out your email address a dot person at hotmail dot com

    When giving your email address to websites and companies use a disposable/unique email address so that should you begin receiving unsolicited email to that address you know who the source was and you can complain or possibly take legal action. For example when providing an email address for antionline you could set up a hotmail address -

    * anitonline1234567@hotmail.com

    Or check out this article http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hreadid=246924 for an easy way to create disposable email addresses.

    Step 2 - Oops, I'm Already Getting Spam - Filtering It Out

    Okay, so sometime your email address got out into the wild.

    There are a number of ways of filtering this, including using spamassassin (http://spamassassin.org) - Check ouis tutorial http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hreadid=242068
    For Outlook users check out this tutorial for setting up some excellent filters http://www.antionline.com/showthread...hreadid=243128

    Step 3 - Taking Positive Action

    Spam is on the increase - want to help fight back?

    Sign up for Spamcop http://spamcop.net/anonsignup.shtml

    You will then receive a unique email address that you can forward spam to which will allow the fine people at Spamcop to trace spam to it's source and raise the appropriate complaints.

    Step 4 - Click Here to Unsubscribe

    Don't do this. More often than not this is a link that will allow the spammers to verify that the email address you have used is valid and all that will happen is that you will get more spam.

    If the spam has come from a legitimate company then you should be able to mail postmaster@legitimate.com or abuse@legitimate.com with a suitable complaint, but only do this if you are certain the company is legitimate.

    I have found this complaintt very effective:

    You have sent me unsolicited email.

    Please ensure that I am removed from all contact, mailing and emailing
    lists within your organisation.

    Further unsolicited email from yourselves will:

    1) Signify that you authorise me to take any required action to prevent further unsolicited mail.
    2) Result in your domain legitimate.com being added to our site wide banned domains.
    3) A complaint being raised with Spamcop.
    4) A complaint made to your upstream service provider.


    Step 5 - If All Else Fails

    This is harsh, but if nothing is working or the task is too daunting you will have to abondon your email address and get another one. Ask your admin, they should be sympathetic if you have a spam problem and then follow Step 1 to keep it clean.

  2. #2
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    nice! Now if only those god damn spammers would die already...


  3. #3
    Senior Member VicE$DoS$'s Avatar
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    Hi Dr Zoidberg, (its getting boring now I know)

    What about a more pro-active approach??
    Like Tr@c1ng th3 3ma1L addr355 th3n u51ng 50me 1337 $cript5 t0 0\/\/N th3r3 a55 ??

    Great post mate. Nicely done.

    Cheers V$D$
    I remember when Nihil was ickle. Does that mean I'm old?

  4. #4
    rebmeM roineS enilnOitnA steve.milner's Avatar
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    Originally posted here by VicE$DoS$
    Hi Dr Zoidberg, (its getting boring now I know)

    What about a more pro-active approach??
    Like Tr@c1ng th3 3ma1L addr355 th3n u51ng 50me 1337 $cript5 t0 0\/\/N th3r3 a55 ??

    Great post mate. Nicely done.

    Cheers V$D$
    Tracing it is all very hard work - I'd just let Spamcop do it all for you - They are the experts.

    Hmmm.... Time for a new avatar soon

    Steve
    IT, e-commerce, Retail, Programme & Project Management, EPoS, Supply Chain and Logistic Services. Yorkshire. http://www.bigi.uk.com

  5. #5
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    Thanks for taking the time to write it. I got alot of use out it will add it to my favorites for future use.

  6. #6
    rebmeM roineS enilnOitnA steve.milner's Avatar
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    Hehe...

    Just been pracising what I preach. (It was this that prompted me to write the tut).

    I got spam from a company using a unique email address that I had used only once to register for a retail exhibition .

    I know I ticked all the right boxes not to get spam/marketing info or for them to pass on the email address.

    So I wrote to the people I'd registered with offering them a chat about this - no contact so I've.

    Complained to the data protection registrar.
    Complained to their ISPs
    Complained to the people that sent me the email suggesting they are buying crap data & if they want to sue I'll be a witness.
    Sent the mail to Spamcop
    Sent the mail to razor.
    Contacted the computing industry press and told them my story
    Contacted the retail industry press and told them my story

    Now all I need is a no win no fee solicitor

    I feel much better already.
    IT, e-commerce, Retail, Programme & Project Management, EPoS, Supply Chain and Logistic Services. Yorkshire. http://www.bigi.uk.com

  7. #7
    Old Fart
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    www.mailwasher.net ....blacklist it, bounce it and forget it.

    'nuff said.
    Al
    It isn't paranoia when you KNOW they're out to get you...

  8. #8
    Regal Making Handler
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    Get AOL 8 They have a report spam button. (i'm only joking). For those of us that use AOL though, it is always usefull to look at the senders address because i have found that some of the spam comes from peeps that have had their accounts hacked. They have normaly fell for the, you have recieved an instakiss from an admirer trick to give there log in details away.

    Just give them the heads up.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

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