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It’s Not Your Spam, Ma`am, But His

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Reducing spam is painful. I sent a friend e-mail at the domain she owns. She didn’t get the message, because she changed her e-mail handle off her domain. The reason isn’t rocket science: spam.

I feel her pain. I recently sold a domain I owned since 1995. In parting with the domain, I relinquished an e-mail addressed used for almost nine years. The e-mail change is liberating, because of the greatly diminished amount of spam. 

Spammers often use automated techniques to mine e-mail addresses. One of the surest ways to generate spam is to post an e-mail address on a website. Best tactic is to put the e-mail address behind text. So never: spamsucks@idontwantanymorespam.com. Better: Spam Sucks, with link to the e-mail address.

The problem of spam is a dicey one, because definitions vary. “Say again”, you ask? They sure as hell do. Most regular folks I know would regard any unsolicited e-mail as spam. But, those are fighting words to so-called legitimate e-mail marketers. Those are the folks sending out marketing e-mails the same they might send you circulars through the Post Office.

Microsoft may make big noise about fighting spam. But that’s code word for “illegal spammers”, meaning people who co-opt other folks’ computers or networks to dispatch unwanted e-mail or deceptively pilfer confidential information. These tacticians aren’t just security risks or credit card thieves; they hurt the so-called legitimate marketers, the ones whose money companies like Microsoft (through MSN) would like to collect.

Anyone looking for relief for unwanted e-mail should just get a life.

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