Spamming around

Spam. Because you can delete it after reading no more than the subject field, e-mailed spam is not as annoying as telelemarketers calling home at dinnertime. Pathetic as it may sound, in between perusing all the serious Newsnet items on how to spam-proof the inbox, I admit that I enjoy some of the junk e-mail.

IDG's own online Quickstudy service defines spam as electronic junk mail from hawkers of goods or services like get-rich-quick schemes and cheap holidays. The good people at the Quickstudy workshop left out body image related spam such as this recent favourite, "Are you happy with your package?" I opened this one, expecting discussion of salary negotiation tactics but instead found personal inches as the topic. And this get-rich-quick spam popped in just yesterday: Step-by-Step to $US1,000,000 in 180 Days. Bloody hell, even the prospect of being able to retire on August 18 didn't get me to read any more than the disclaimer the bottom. It assures me that the e-mail was sent in compliance with strict anti-abuse and "no spam" regulations and that my address was collected as a result of posting to a link, an e-mail I sent to the sender recently, or being on a list that the sender has purchased, and that I can remove my e-mail address at "no cost whatsoever" by simply clicking on the "Reply button with 'Remove' in the subject line". Phew, I can undo. After the 'package' memo, I thought my privacy was forever breached.

In my inbox immediately above the "filthy rich in 180 days" scheme is "Affordable Art Gallery Databases" and above that is "Affordable Publicity Lists". Come August I might buy 10 dozen of these lists. I also have this beauty from Africa, a "business proposal" which states, "Hello, I am Mr Emmanuel Okon a custom officer and work as assistant controler [sic] of Customs and Excise Depertment [sic] of the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs stationed at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikejalagos Nigeria". Hmmmm, maybe I do need to talk to our IT manager about more serious spam defences.

What's your spam situation? Is it just a nuisance, a security threat, or under control with help from anti-spam tracking and blocking tools? Drop me a line at I promise to read it.

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