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Fed up with spam
Thread poster: LuciaC

LuciaC
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:10
English to Italian
+ ...
Jul 21, 2006

I am getting fed up with spam emails. At the moment I get about 40 a day. I am trying to protect my address and I've recently signed up with Spamcop reporting every single email I get but so far I haven't seen any improvements.

I do have a Junk mail folder and Thunderbird works quite well in this respect, but I am slightly worried because when I am on holiday I won't be checking my mailbox for two weeks, so I am expecting 40 mails x 15 days...

What else can I do?

[Edited at 2006-07-21 09:52]


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 04:10
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Protect your address... Jul 21, 2006

I am afraid that the main cause of this is that your address appeared somewhere on the Internet in a readable form, so that it is easily detected and targeted by spam bots. Whenever you post your address on a site, forum discussion list etc., you may invite spam. Generally, a good test is a google search of your address: if it comes up in several places, it might be used for spam.

I can tell you what I would do, although many people might find it to be too drastic... I would setup a completely new address (although it might be similiar to your old one), then notify all my associates, partners, friends etc. of the new address. On the old address I would set up an autoreply function informing of the new address.

Of course, the risk is that some very old friends might be out of touch of you, if they will not read the autoreply message. Of course, you might need to change your business cards, company letters etc. In other words, this might be somewhat hard, especially in the beginning.

And if you do change your address, distribute it in such a way that it is not easily picked up by spambots, otherwise it will be the same after a while.


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Patricia Lane  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 04:10
French to English
+ ...
Mail Washer Jul 21, 2006

Lucia,

This won't solve everything, but I use Mail Washer (the basic version is free and it works quite well). I launch it before Outlook and it scans my incoming mail. You can very quickly define various lists (friends, "not for me", blacklist and so on) and in one click, it will zap the undesirable ones, letting you download your "real mail" into your in box.

Hope this helps.

Kind regards,

Patricia


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Dimitri Van Vossel
Local time: 04:10
Dutch to English
+ ...
Unsubscribing Jul 21, 2006

I realise this isn't really a top solution, because a lot of sites simply don't respect the opt-out option. On the other hand, in the past, taking the time to follow the opt-out instructions has helped me reduce the amount of spam I received for a certain period of time.
Maybe this really is the time of the year...I've been receiving tons of spam-messages lately.


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Barbara Wiegel  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:10
English to German
+ ...
Juggling E-mail addresses and hiding them Jul 21, 2006

Hi Lucia,

I use different e-mail addresses for different purposes.
There is one I mainly use for business, one for online shopping, one primarily for private mails to/from friends and family and then there is the one I use for all other activities such as signing up on certain websites which require registering before you can use whatever service they're offering (e.g. online newspapers, magazines etc.). And not surprisingly this is the address I get the most spam sent to...
All the other addresses get a "reasonable" (sic!) amount of spam - say, about 3 messages a day which IMHO is not too bad.

Another aspect is publishing your e-mail address.
Until recently I used a free mailform on my private website in order to avoid publishing my contact address. But the company offering the free mailform services no longer exists and I had to find another similar service provider. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a provider of free mailforms I really hit it off with, so I started investigating other options.
I found this site http://www.martech.de/hide.php (in German) where some guy offers a way to hide your e-mail address by encoding each letter/figure of the address into its numeric HTML equivalent and this encoded string of signs and figures can then be inserted into the html file and, thus, will not be detected by searchrobots.
I did this for my site and haven't noticed an increased amount of spam for that particular address.

I hope this somehow helps!

Best and have a great weekend,
Barbara



[Edited at 2006-07-21 11:05]


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Maria Antonietta Ricagno  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:10
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Cloudmark Jul 21, 2006

I bought Cloudmark, a small anti-spam program: it is sufficient to install it and a toolbar will appear in Outlook. It works automatically detecting spam e-mails and diverting them to the Spam folder, then you can delete them all.

I don't think changing address or having multiple addresses would be a good move on the long term: spammers will find any new address, it's just a question of time. I have multiple addresses, but spammers usually send their junk to info@

ciao

Antonella


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Stephanie Wloch  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:10
Member (2003)
Dutch to German
Spamfilter by provider Jul 21, 2006

Ciao Lucia,
40 spams a day would drive me crazy too.
Can't see your mail address in the profile.
I put my mail-address in the profile, because some people overlook the icon for mails through Proz.
I show my mail-address on other sites openly and not encoded, because I have no problems with spam mails.

My Dutch provider blocks a lot of spam. And I have an extra spamfilter too. But even in my spambox is not that much. Sometimes 3 per day. Or even nothing.

If my Dutch provider can do so: aren't there any other providers out there who are efficient in stopping spam? After all it is even expensive for the provider.

Cari saluti dall' Olanda
e buona fortuna

Stefania


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Jeremy Smith  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:10
French to English
+ ...
Only 40? Count yourself lucky Jul 21, 2006

With my main email accounts (yes - I am an Internet nerd), I receive well over 100 every day. But I find Thunderbird to be excellent in controlling the problem.

I don't really like one of the solutions above, about changing for a new e-mail address. In time, the new e-mail address will be as inundated with spam as the old one.

I really don't understand how spamming is worth the spammers' time and expense. Who on earth is stupid enough to buy their v14gra and pr0n rubbish?


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Yolande Haneder  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:10
German to French
+ ...
I did use to have 40 daily too... Jul 21, 2006

But I managed to reduced a lot.

First, our host installed a spam filter so that I don't even receive most of them.
Then we encrypted our e-mail address on our websites (was quite efficient).
Finally I have a spam filter in outlouk were I am regulary making new rules.

I then get in the end 2-3 a day. I don't know however how to make a rule because they are entirely graphics (stocks spams). I may someday get my host to filter e-mails without content.

Furthermore I do not download automatically the pictures in the e-mails I get not to disclose that one or two these spams are getting through.

Sometimes I don't know how they get the adresses. We even got spam on one address that we are not using (only used for technical purpose at the time we didn't have a router to send the files from one computer to another).


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LuciaC
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:10
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thunderbird Jul 21, 2006

Actually Thunderbird works quite well as it puts all the spam in a junk mail folder (no need for a special software). Also I've set up filters to delete recurrent messages in the server. Still, it's a tidal wave.
My address doesn't appear on the Internet. By analysing (as best I can as I am no expert) the full header of some of them, I've seen that a message may be directed to five or six addresses starting like mine and with the same provider.
Example:
dog@provider.com, doggy@provider.com, dog.cat@provider.com etc.

I am not sure how this works, but I am just so annoyed. Changing address is a real hassle, but I will try to unsubscribe this address from some sites as suggested.

Thanks a lot - so there are no miracle cures...




[Edited at 2006-07-21 13:24]


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Philippe Etienne  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:10
Member
English to French
I don't have such problems Jul 21, 2006

On my business address, I only get a few spams a month, most of which are detected as such by the default spam filters supplied by Outlook 2003 and my ISP. I would go bananas if I had to sift through my mail every morning!

In contrast, the online address I have been using since 2000 every time I have to enter an email address on the Web (shopping, newsletter subscriptions, etc.) gets about 30 junk mails a day.

I suppose it depends on the variety of sites you enter your address on, and how caustiously you browse the Web.

Given the inventiveness of spammers, I believe that whatever filters and rules you use, either many will go undetected, or a few will end up in the bin...


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Marta Fernandez-Suarez  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:10
English to Spanish
cancelling and creating it again Jul 21, 2006

Hi Lucia,

Someone who had lots of spam e-mails everyday told me that the whole thing stopped when he cancelled his e-mail account for about a month and then opened a new one whith exactly the same name. I believe this was a hotmail account.

I wonder if I understood well. Does any one knows whether it is possible to do that? It might be the magical spam cure...

Kind regards,

Marta


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Victor Dewsbery  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 04:10
German to English
+ ...
Provider spam filter AND Cloudmark Jul 21, 2006

My provider in Germany (www.snafu.de) offers a free "spambox" that stops almost all spam messages (about 50-100 per day - the volume of spam messages seems to fluctuate). Every few days I call up this spambox and check to see whether it contains any false positives. There are perhaps three or four per month, and these false positives are almost always expendable mass mailings that I have subscirbed to.

This means that only 5-10 spams per day are actually downloaded to my inbox in Outlook. There they are received by "Cloudmark" which costs about 3 EUR per month and catches almost all of the spam messages that get through my provider filter. Again, they are placed in a "spam" folder, which I can check for false positives.

So I only have to manually catch 1 or 2 spam messages per day.


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Vito Smolej
Germany
Local time: 04:10
Member (2004)
English to Slovenian
+ ...
"Protect your address" - second that Jul 21, 2006

and I have been playing already with the idea of establishing several personalities, as suggested here as well... But it's a lot of work.

GMX as a a major provider in Germany has excellent spam defense. I end up daily with possibly one or two viagra, phishing and/or get-rich-quick mails - in my SPAM folder and none in my inBox.


regards

Vito


[Edited at 2006-07-21 18:58]


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Setti Mulari  Identity Verified
New Zealand
Local time: 15:10
Member (2005)
Finnish to English
Protect yourself - and others Jul 22, 2006

I have a Yahoo! Mail address that I use if I absolutely must leave my e-mail address on any websites and the like.

Its pretty much common sense not to give your real e-mail address when you download stuff like the Real Player or other software... most companies are terrible when it comes to releasing your e-mail address to spam lists.

Now it's all well and good to protect your e-mail address against dodgy websites and companies, but there are a lot of people that don't think when they find something funny on the internet and then use these "Send this to your friend" functions or "Tell your friend about this or that."

I am very careful with my e-mail address and when my friends or family are careless with my address I get really annoyed.

Another thing is forwarding the rubbish that you get in your inbox. If it's a virus warning - you can guarantee its a hoax... if you get a really funny joke, by all means forward it on, but tidy up the message before sending. Delete all the previous lists of forwarded addresses. At some point that e-mail will end up with someone who's just scored a 100 verified e-mail addresses to add to their list.

I'm not sure if I'm the only one or if it makes me a worse person that I already am... but I don't care about the sick child in Krapklapistan who will die if I don't forward your chain mail to 70 people in 70 seconds... I also don't care about the million dollars that a cancer research lab will lose if I don't forward something on to everyone I know. I can live with the fact that I'll never have sex with a Playboy bunny and the fact that my life might end suddenly, I might get fired or my house catches fire... these are risks that I have been taking for a fair few years now. It's true - I'm yet to sleep with the Playboy girls, but my house hasn't burnt, I'm not bankrupt (although pretty close I'm sure) and that Royal Mail truck has always missed me (touch wood).

I guess I could've written all that by saying "not all spam comes from spammers." ...but I just thought I'd waste all of y'alls time because I suffer from a momentary lack of motivation to work... and now I'll shut up.


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