Spam Is Down? No Way!

I was just over at where they’re running an AP wire story about spam:

Those annoying “spam” e-mails for Viagra or low-rate mortgages that clog computer users’ mailboxes appear to be on the decline, federal regulators said Tuesday.

Say what?

In the six hours I’ve been at work today, I’ve gotten 16 spams on my account and more on my work and accounts.

Most of my spams are never seen by me. The filtering on Thunderbird, the email program I use, is good – not great. What does get through is often obvious enough that I can dispatch it before opening it.

There has been a veritable flood of spam for ‘hot stocks’ in the past few weeks. Though they look like text, they are really images. Thunderbird gives up and ships them to me.

On the other hand, there are also some false positives. Helaine ran into my friend Diane Smith today. Diane said she had mailed me… though the mail was marked as spam and filed away where I would have never looked!

I am surprised by the huge number of spam emails I get in Russian and Chinese! I don’t speak either language so I can’t tell you much about the content. From what I can tell, the Russian spams are often mass mailings for legitimate products, like real estate. That differentiates them from the spams I get for V1@gr@ or hot girls who want to meet me.

I’m sure there are guys who hot girls really want to meet. None of those guys have to shave their ears.

Even sending mail has become increasingly difficult because of spam. Messages I sent to my counterpart at our sister station in Springfield, MA bounced because the mail server I use was flagged as a spam site.

I can’t send messages to the NH Register either. No one has told me, but since I can get through via, I assume it’s another site blacklisting my mail server.

I am neither smart enough nor well versed enough to come up with a spam solution, but I know it’s out there. The vast majority of spam is a chase for money. Money on the Internet means credit cards. Can’t we find where that money is going?

Electronic mail is so smart, so simple, so efficient, it must be saved. We can’t afford to go back. It’s got to be policed… soon, please.

Oh, and to the FTC; the people quoted at the beginning of this entry. What exactly are you smoking?

2 thoughts on “Spam Is Down? No Way!”

  1. I think the solution to spam begins and ends with filtering. Regulation of spam is impossible, and the FTC has no place in this issue – they’ve already proved their incompetence.

    I too use Thunderbird as my e-mail client, and I agree, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than nothing. As time goes on the filters will become more robust.

    Unfortunately, the spammers will always be trying to thwart these filters. For example, Thunderbird’s filters don’t recognize cyrillic charachters, so your inbox will have those russian & other foreign spams – that’s just an example of how they get around those filters.

    Thunderbird tip:

    set up a mesage filter that recognizes all of your email addresses in your address book as legitimate senders and not spam. you can even go one step further and have them color coded by labeling them in the filter rules. That way, when you glance at your inbox, one color could represent family, another work, etc.

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