Spam

Discussion in 'Off-Topic Chat' started by Brian Bowen, Nov 17, 2005.

  1. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    Apart from changing one’s email address, is there any way of stopping spammers bombarding with ridiculous adverts for rubbishy products? The subject line usually suggests the senders don’t speak English as it’s usually an irrelevant phrase or bunch of words. I’m getting many each day and consigning each one to my “block sender list” is useless as new names and addresses simply take their place. I notice some of these have messed up guest books on some band web sites too. The spams I get are usually for fake Rolex watches, phoney stock offers, and certain prescription drugs (e.g.Viagra, Cialis, Xanax).

    What is the purpose of these people? Are receivers really sucked in? Would writing back to them with strong words only make matters worse?
     
  2. johnmartin

    johnmartin Active Member

    NEVER reply to these people. They're usually mass mailing to random addresses. If they get a reply than they know that your address is a live one. There's not much one can do to be perfectly honest. What I tend to do is keep what I call my spam email address which is publicly available, and my private email address which I will give only to people who I want to get in touch with me. That plus an up to date spam filter has reduced my spam problem quite a bit.

    As for guestbooks. I use the popular phpBook software on my bands website and I've modded it to include a hidden field. Only posts which are manually entered at the website can get through because the hidden field is included in the form data in the URL. A spambot won't know about my hidden field and even if it did they would have to guess the correct value too. I've configured it so that I still get the email telling me that a guestbook entry has been written but only valid ones are actually written to the database. Checking this manually over the last few weeks it seems to have stopped about 95% of the spambots. There's still the odd one sneaks through though.
     
  3. Paul Gorman

    Paul Gorman New Member

    Hello Brian,

    This is turning out to be an interesting first day having registered on tmp earlier today. I had one reply to 'Introducing myself' post from Darrol Barry, currently Director of Music, Royal Oman Guard inviting me to get in touch whenever I and my wife are in Oman as we live in Bahrain.
    I don't know if you have read my initial post in which I explained that at home in the UK I am a member of Staines SA Band and Corps. So it was a pleasant surprise to see your message with your former links with Staines. Also I originate from Grimsby and many years ago attended the first few Divisional Music Schools in Castor, Lincolnshire where I first met Gordon Ward. After joining the police service I then moved to Hull where I saw Gordon every know and then until he emigrated to New York and of course the NYSB. What a wonderful artist on the cornet!

    As to your problem of spam you may find it useful to install Symantec virus protection and/or Norton anti-spam software. I'm not an expect but I have them on my computer in Bahrain and my home and they seem to prevent spam and other pop-ups reaching my computer. It would certainly be worth contacting a good computer dealer to find out the best one.

    I hope the above is of some help to you,

    God Bless,
    Paul
    (Gorman)
     
  4. rutty

    rutty Active Member

    How do you get your email? Do you use an on-line email account like Hotmail or Gmail or do you use Outlook Express or something to check your email from your ISP?

    If you use the latter there are all sorts of programs that will check for spam on your account before you download them to your PC. Mailwasher is one I've heard of, but as I don't really access my email this way I can't tell you from personal experience if it's any good. I've heard good things though.

    These semi-literate emails are done like that on purpose. Many anti-spam programs check for certain words and if they score highly on a likely spam algorythm then they're junked. They also check for series of words and so sometimes you get these mails that make absolutely no sense at all - just random collections of wards.

    They're annoying for certain, but as they seem to just mailbomb random addresses they'll get sent to you regardless of whether you've ever given your email address out or not.
     
  5. KMJ Recordings

    KMJ Recordings Supporting Member

    If your email address is freely available on a webpage, then it's entirely possible that it's being picked up by web-bots and then used to generate the spam.

    One trick is to put an obviously false bit in the address e.g. joe.bloggs_NOSPAM@wherever.co.uk that people have to take out. Another is to generate a gif or JPG of your email address, then create a mailto: link on it....that way people can read it or click on it to send you a mail, but it can't be read by bots...
     
  6. Fergus

    Fergus Member

    I current use mailwasher and it's available from www.download.com. It allows you to clear out the junk before opening outlook. I've been using it for a few months now and found it great as I too was being bombarded with spam.

    Good luck
     
  7. tubafran

    tubafran Active Member

    I use Yahoo for my email address and it filters most spam into a Bulk account - these are the usual suspects of course which can then be flagged as Spam which deletes and apparently informs Yahoo that Spam is being generated by these particular email addresses - how that helps I'm not sure but it's also added to my blocked address list.

    Interesting comment about adding bits to the email address which needs to me removed manually - need to sort that on my band website.
     
  8. Bungle

    Bungle Member

    You can also get a bandsman email address from Nigel Hornes website

    http://www.bandsman.co.uk/mail.htm

    This will remove the spam before it is routed to your prefered receiving Email address. I use my bandsman adress when putting my contact email address onto band event websites which are likely to be scanned by bots. Mine is geoff.collins@bandsman.co.uk.
     
  9. Jan H

    Jan H Moderator Staff Member

    try using Mozilla Thunderbird instead of Outlook Express. Thunderbird has some excellent built-in spam filtering features.

    But you can't use it to read your hotmail.

    www.mozilla.org
     
  10. Brian Bowen

    Brian Bowen Active Member

    Thanks for the advice, folks. I've downloaded Thunderbird and will try Jan's suggestion.
     
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