This morning, I opened my personal email account to find a SPAM email. Very obviously one, sitting right there. So, rather than just delete it, I took a moment to look at it and it revealed some clues as to how it got to me, and by way of that analysis, I can tell you how to begin your own anti-SPAM campaign!
Not only was the email addressed to me, but to a number of local business people I know, but do not correspond with via that email address, if I do at all. Most are people I have met networking and have their cards, so I know who they are. Point 1: I could see all their email addresses.
It didn’t take much scanning to figure out point 2: I can guess with about 99% certainty who has been sending out emails with this list of addresses. I get them from him, too, and in this email account.
Point 3: Because of his method of blasting his email contact list “in the clear” using the “to:” and “cc:” fields, he now makes all his contacts vulnerable to be collected and used, increasing the quantity of SPAM traffic on the net, not to mention annoying (at the least) and infecting (at the worst) all those computers of your friends and family and business contacts.
Putting all those puzzle pieces together, he’s how you can save your friends, family and business contacts from more of such a fate:
1) If you feel inclined to send something out, put their addresses in the “Bcc:” field. Then any recipient will only see their names, and no one else, and therefore, if this email finds it’s way into someone’s email account where they farm email addresses to send out SPAM to, you’ve put up a simple firewall on that activity.
2) When you get that forwarded 20 bizillion times joke, or offer for Bill Gates to donate $1 to your favorite charity, do this: Right after you click on the “Forward” function of your email, hilight and delete all the other lists of emails that are visible in the body of the message. Besides saving someone from being SPAMed as a result of you inadvertently helping SPAMers collect their address, think how much better a reading experience those who receive it will have when they don’t have to scroll down 37 screens to read the relevant material?
Summary: Put email address for blast work in the “Bcc:” field and remove any visible lists of email addresses in items sent to you, if you forward them along!