Sunday, December 04, 2005

No intelligence required

My Yahoo account does quite a good job of filtering out the spam, and rarely puts real mail into the "Bulk" folder. Still, I skim the subject lines before emptying the folder each day, just in case. Today, I am invited to

Get the King James version of the Bible FREE*!

I also received a dire

WARNING: ACCOUNT UPDATE

from a credit union that, of course, I've never heard of. Do you suppose this actually gets them any business? I can just imagine how it would go:

Hmm, 'update account.' Okey dokey...[click]...hey, waid a minute. I don't HAVE an account here...Well, they sure fooled ME!...And I think I'm pretty smart. So these people clearly have it together. Sign me up!

6 comments:

Dad December 04, 2005 5:17 PM  

Hmmm. You get offers of free Bibles, while I (a minister) get swamped with offers for products to foster um, ah, shall we say, anatomical enhancements. And sure-fire "sleeper" stocks which are sure to octuple in value in the next few weeks. And Microsoft products dirt cheap. And, of course, dire warnings about trouble with accounts I do not have.

The spam has greatly increased over the past few weeks/months. My ISP's spam filter is lousy, but the Norton spam filter gets it right more than not, and puts them into a special folder. Just for fun, I always check to see what country they're from, and they're coming from Japan, Korea, China, Romania, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Russia, Slovenia, France, Brazil, etc. And a few from the United States. (One just came in as I'm writing this...it's from Poland.)

The notion of attempted "spam filters" reminds me of the old adage: "If man (this was before we had women, I guess) builds a better mousetrap, nature will breed a smarter mouse."

Jennifer December 04, 2005 7:00 PM  

Make no mistake; I get all that other stuff too. These were just a couple that struck my fancy in today's batch of 77. I particularly liked the asterisk in the free Bible offer.

Which reminds me of a little not-quite-a-limerick I always liked:

Pretty Mary donned her skates
Upon the ice to frisk.
Wasn't she a silly thing,
Her little *

On the topic of adages (from before there were women), here's my current favorite:

Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to use the Internet and he won't bother you for weeks.

Dad December 04, 2005 9:12 PM  

Guess I should stop whining. I just checked my Norton AntiSpam Folder, and during the past month, my total number of spams is 72.

(Maybe I'll catch up with you someday...ugh!)

Jennifer December 04, 2005 9:34 PM  

Well, I think that was about a day and a half. Thirty to fifty is about average for a 24-hour period.

I've not wanted to change my E-mail address because it has been given to people who would have no other way to contact us, and with whom we are no longer in touch.

But before we were savvy about such things, Alex used it to join a couple of mailing lists & discussion groups, which led to it being disclosed to many people in many places.

Too, it became semi-public when we registered our two domains (costaricaquilts.com and costaricalandsurveys.com) last year. I get twin copies of a lot of junk mail (especially the "your free $100 Gift Card is waiting" kind), and I assume that is from the domain registration.

I have since learned that there are services that can shield your personal information, but I didn't know about them at the time (or they didn't exist yet). I could probably switch to one of those services, but enough damage is already done that I haven't bothered.

I worried that I might need to change my address earlier this year when I was reverse-spammed...someone took my address and used it as the return address when they sent out their spam (which was of the discount software variety).

So I got flooded with returned mail notices (all of which were automatically generated) when the spam was sent to nonexistent (or spam-shielded) addresses. These messages were not actually spam, and were not filtered as such, so I had to wade through them myself.

If it had happened at a time when I was sending out a mailing to my own mailing list for the quilt retreat it would have been disastrous, because I relied on the bounced messages from that to keep my records up to date.

Fortunately, it happened about four times over a period of two weeks or so and has not been repeated since.

Anyway, your spam problem is not likely to reach these proportions any time soon. (But by then imagine how mine will look!)

lisa December 04, 2005 10:01 PM  

And here I was, annoyed after several spam-free years, now getting up to 2 spams a day in my bulk mail!

lisa December 05, 2005 10:18 PM  

Oh! I just got the BEST subject line:

Re: nostril

A click a day for good causes

The Hunger Site The Breast Cancer Site The Child Health Site The Literacy Site The Rainforest Site The Animal Rescue Site

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