Hey, where did Summer go? Seriously?!? Of course that means football and that's FANtastic but still... SEPTEMBER?? Since you might use a few commercial breaks to check your email, between now & Superbowl Sunday anyway, I thought I'd bend your ear and blow off some steam about SPAM. The digital variety.
We've actually experienced quite an uptick in SPAM emails recently which prompted me to create this post. It's something everyone is affected by and it can be malicious or more benign but regardless, it's ALL a big pain in the ass. Especially for businesses.
Many times an unsolicited email will have an "Unsubscribe Link". Score right?! Well, maybe but it might just turn out to be a touchdown for the other team. Take our word for it, those almost never work. As soon as you click it, you're alerting the Spammer they have reached an active email address. It encourages the sender to throw more junk your way. Don't waste your time with Unsubscribe Links.
Address Removal Services
Well, what about using one of those Address Removal Services? There are a bunch of those, all offering to remove your email address from spammer lists - for a fee of course. Turns out, these Unsubscribe Services are just as bad if not worse than the spammers they claim to help get rid of. They are cons; some even claim to be consumer protection agencies.They hit you two ways. First, they extort money from you, then instead of removing you from any spammer's list - they collect your email address and any other personal information you have given them and use it to spam you all over again.
The truth of the matter is that once you start getting spam emails (and you almost certainly will) it's impossible to remove yourself from the clutches of these creeps. About the best you can hope for is to set up some email filters to help deal with it.
You May Be Spamming
Did you know you could be sending out spam yourself and not even know it! Usually, it happens like this: you get an email with a link to a suspicious site. You are on top of your game and know that you shouldn't click on the link but the email came from your friend and you trust them, right? Wrong! Once you click on the link a bot is downloaded to your computer. Now the spammers will use the bot to send email to your friends to try and get them to click on the same link you did. Eventually, they build a network of bots they can use for bad things like denial of service attacks or sending out massive amounts of spam. Installing a good anti-virus program can protect you from bots. Want to check your computer for malicious code or viruses? We recommend Malware Bytes. They offer a free version and it works!
Rules To Live By Online
- Never click on an attachment in an email unless you are 100% sure it's from a trusted source AND even then proceed with caution. Hover over the link and look in the status bar to see where the link will take you. This is a good way to "look before you leap".
- Never, ever buy anything from an unsolicited email. Never! Don't you do it!
- Install and use a good anti-virus program. There are many free programs that do an excellent job of protecting you.We use Avast.
SPAM is costly ($1.98 at Wal-Mart for the canned version). Trying to pin down an accurate cost of SPAM is tough but most estimates put the cost in tens of millions of dollars. (we think the true cost is much higher than that). According to the IBM Threat Intelligence Index 2017, The volume of spam emails increased 4x in 2016. If you have a SPAM problem and would like some additional information or help to resolve it, please use our Contact Form - we'd love to hear from you.
Unfortunately, SPAM is here to stay and something we all have to deal with. Follow our SPAM Tips and stick to common sense online "rule of the road", learn how to set up filters in your email client to delete SPAM and remain vigilant. If it makes you feel any better, buy a can of SPAM and fry it up. It's actually not too bad.