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Spam is not a freedom of speech issue – it’s a theft issue.
Some people try to compare postal junk mail to UCE. Postal mail is paid for by advertisers and helps support the U.S. Post Office. It is illegal to place postal mail in a mailbox without postage. Spam is paid for in part by the unwilling recipient. In addition, it does not in any way help support the system, but instead seriously abuses it by overloading servers and causing the necessity of additional non-profit producing staff to deal with the problems caused. Ask the sysadmins of small ISPs who have to deal with spam-crashed servers how wonderful it is for small business.
TV and radio ads are also paid for by advertisers and support the service so that users may enjoy it for free. If we don’t want to see TV commercials, we can pay for cable. In the case of spam, the opposite situation exists. Because of the cost-shifting aspects of this practice, the more spam there is the more the end users will have to pay for their connection costs. Many ISPs right now (especially the small businesses who can’t absorb the added expense) are barely making it because of the added burden of spam. Do you wish to pay more for your service just so you can get more junk mail?
Magazines are also supported by advertisements. How much do you suppose a $3.00 magazine would cost you if ads were placed for free? How many fledgling entrepreneurs would be able to start a new magazine – that’s small business, folks – by footing all the start-up costs with no income from advertisers?
Spam also costs the unwilling recipient in lost time loading the gobs of it into their mail readers and wading through it to determine if any of it is solicited information or correspondence from friends and customers. And small business people working on a shoe-string budget normally are the chief cooks and bottle washers, without a staff to assist them. This lost time spent on dealing with spam can greatly impact the building of a small business. If you make your e-mail address public by placing ads and registering with search engines, you know I’m not talking about a couple of pieces of UCE a day – more like 50-100!
Spammers cry about freedom of speech and point fingers at anti-spammers, whining that we are a small group of anti-commercial fanatics who wish to impose censorship on the poor small businessman just trying to make a living. What they don’t seem to understand is that their right to swing their fists ends before our noses begin. Every American has the right to speak up and express his own views without interference from the government (which is literally what freedom of speech is all about – the right to speak out against the government without the threat of being shipped to Siberia). However, NOBODY has the right to barge into my living room to give a shpiel on a vacuum cleaner without my invitation. One may also be prohibited from making a speech about fertilizer in a business meeting scheduled to discuss the company’s new personnel policy. And just try to yell Fire in a crowded movie theatre and see where your whining about freedom of speech gets you.
Censorship? Hardly. Let’s look at a highly controversial example – pornography. Granted, there are groups who would like to see porn banned from the internet. This certainly would be censorship, and is not in the least a part of any agenda item in the anti-spam movement. There are plenty of anti-spammers who enjoy pornography, as well as those of us who wouldn’t touch the stuff with a ten-foot pole. But as long as the advertisements are not sent UNSOLICITED into our e-mail, we could care less. This is not about censorship – it’s about protection of our private property, and OUR FREEDOM of choosing what we want to receive. As noted before, it doesn’t matter if it’s an invitation to a porn site or a Bible study class – if it’s unsolicited, THAT MEANS WE DON’T WANT IT!
As for being a small group of fanatics, there is plenty of proof to the contrary. Ask any ISP with a past record of even one spamming incident how many abuse reports they received. Surveys have shown that over 70% of all internet users do NOT want to receive spam. In my opinion, most of the other 30% are people who haven’t been online long enough to get any, and the rest are spammers themselves.
If you give your email address to anyone, you are bound to receive spam emails, and you won’t know where they came from. Wouldn’t it be convenient to give a different email address to every business or web site, while getting all your email as before? Wouldn’t it be easiest to assume the address will be given to spammers, and have it work as a spam blocker by shutting off automatically unless you decide otherwise?
That’s exactly what spamgourmet offers! There is nothing to install on your computer, and once you’re set up, it’s likely you won’t ever have to go back to their site! This is what makes spamgourmet one of the most convenient and effective anti-spam tools available.
Protect yourself from spam in three easy steps:
1. Firstly, create a spamgourmet account. Enter your user name and the email address you want to be protected. You will be asked to identify the word in a picture and pick a password.
2. Spamgourmet will forward to this address all the emails sent to your spamgourmet disposable addresses — that way you don’t have to tell anyone else what it is — this is why it’s called the protected address. Of course, this protected address must exist. That’s why you have to confirm it. You’ll receive an email asking you to confirm.
3. After you have confirmed your protected address, you can give out self-destructing disposable email addresses whenever you want. The disposable addresses are like:
where someword is a word you have never used before, x (optional) is the number of email messages you want to receive at this address (up to 20, and the number 3 will be used if you leave it out), and user is your username.
For example, if your user name is “spamcowboy”, and BigCorp wants you to give them your email address (on the web, on the phone, at a store – it doesn’t matter), instead of giving them your protected address, give them this one:
(and firstname.lastname@example.org will work the same way)
This disposable email address will be created here the first time BigCorp uses it (you don’t have to do anything to create it), and you’ll receive at most 3 messages, forwarded to your protected address. The rest will be indelicately consumed.
Phishing, pronounced just like the word ‘fishing’ is the act of sending an email to a user falsely claiming to be an established company in an attempt to scam the user into surrendering private information that will be used for identity theft.
The email directs the user to visit a website that looks identical to the legitimate website,Â where they are asked to update personal information, such as passwords, credit cards, social security and bank account numbers, that the legitimate organization already has. The website, however, is bogus and set up only to steal the userâ€™s information. Once this information is recorded, the ‘phisher’ then uses this information to steal or manipulate the unsuspecting users accounts, sometimes causing major long-time financial damages.
According to online research and compiled data, the two most common companies that are targeted are Paypal.com and Ebay.com.Â
Email spoofing or ‘spoofing’ is email sent from someone pretending to be someone else is known as spoofing. Spoofing may take place in a number of ways. Common to all of them is that the actual sender’s name and the origin of the message are concealed or masked from the recipient. Many, if not most, instances of email fraud use at least minimal spoofing, as most frauds are clearly criminal acts. Criminals typically try to avoid easy traceability.