Where can I find more detailed information about ways to fight spam?
Why is spam bad?
Spam is defined as unsolicited, bulk, electronic mail - it is the Internet equivalent of junk mail. Just about everyone who has been on the Internet for any length of time has received spam.
Spam costs Internet Service Providers both time and money. ISPs must invest in extra hardware and pay employees to deal with thousands of unsolicited messages. Staff members are put to the task of investigating thousands of spam reports and complaints. Spam increases the load on mail servers and consumes valuable bandwidth. This increase in load overburdens mail queues which lead to delays in sending and receiving mail.
Consumers also pay for spam. Time required to retrieve mail messages, including spam, from the server increases, wasting one's time. Fees for accessing the Internet are dilated fro those who have a limited dial-up service. Time is wasted on filtering, blocking or deleting spam. There are psychological costs as well; frustration and annoyance mounts with each spam message polluting one's inbox. The costs of spam are therefore high to ISPs and consumers alike.
Check out these pages for more details on why spam is bad:
What can I do about spam?
There are 7 basic steps you can follow to help keep the amount of spam in your Inbox to a minimum.
- Use a Spam Filter - Expedient has developed a Spam Filter solution that can greatly minimize the amount of junk email you receive. To learn more about this service, click here.
- Never Reply to Spam - While many spammers will say that they will remove your address from their lists, it is rarely true. Most of the time what they're doing is confirming that they've got a live email address. After they find out that the address is live, they may take you off of that list, but then they might sell your email address to other spammers -- usually resulting in even more spam in your mailbox.
- Don't Post Your Email Address on Your Web site - It might seem like a good idea at the time, but putting your email address on your web page can be a bad idea. Many spammers use software that "harvests" email addresses from web pages. When this software finds text that looks like an email address, it adds it a list to be used for sending spam. If you want your site visitors to have a way to contact you, you might want to try a guest book instead of posting your email address.
- Use a Second Email Address in Newsgroups - Newsgroups are the great email address gathering ground for spammers; they use programs to gather email addresses from all the newsgroup posts. When you post to a newsgroup, you are almost certainly going to get spam -- it's just a matter of time. The best way to get around this is to have a public address for newsgroups and a private address for friends and family only.
- Never Buy Anything from Spam - People advertise by spam so that they can make money. They make their money by convincing people to buy their product. If people don't buy their products that they advertise through spam, then in time, companies may quit using spam to advertise.
How do I submit a spam report to the Expedient's abuse reporting system?
Forward the offending email or newsgroup message to email@example.com. Be sure
to include all of the relevant information you can provide. You must include the full email or newsgroup headers for our Abuse Department to be able to process your report; Click here for instructions to get the full message headers for email and newsgroup messages. You should receive an automated response to your report giving you some general information about network abuse.
Is there a recommended format for submitting an email or news abuse report to the abuse report system?
Yes. Abuse reports should be sent only in plain text. Sending reports as attached documents, HTML, or some other format is not recommended. Your report may also be rejected if it cannot be decoded. Due to the threat of viruses, our Abuse Department may immediately delete any messages containing attachments without reading them.
I got this email but it is not even addressed to me! How did I get this?
This is due to a shortfall in the actual protocol that allows Internet-connected sites to exchange mail with each other (SMTP), where bogus header information can be injected into an email message when it should not be. This means that the original headers can be partially overwritten, making it appear that you received email addressed to someone else. This technique is commonly used by spammers to "muddy the waters."
How do spammers get my email address?
Click here for more information on how to prevent Spam.
What about those email messages I get telling me if I want to be removed from some mailing list I never signed up for, I have to reply to their message or send an email to "firstname.lastname@example.org" or something similar?
Generally, you do not want to respond to those types of messages. This is one of the oldest tricks that spammers use to find "live" email addresses, i. e. addresses that are actively being used by someone. Usually what happens is a spammer will harvest email addresses from archived mailing lists or newsgroups, however they do not know how many of those addresses are actually "live." The spammer then sends an email to every address they harvested that says something like, "If you do not want to see any more of these mailings, please send email to email@example.com." If you respond to it, the spammer knows that your email address actually belongs to someone and chances are, you will end up getting more spam from them or people they trade/sell their mailing lists to.
I was told that "somecompany.com" was blocked from sending mail to Expedient, but I still get spam from them. Why?
It is possible that "somecompany.com" was not blocked, or the block was removed for some reason. If someone asks us to block all of "yahoo.com" or some other large site, there would obviously be some problems with doing that. It is also possible that the headers of the message you received were forged to appear like they came from "somecompany.com," but really came from somewhere else. Spammers commonly use unwitting third parties to "relay" their email to sites that would otherwise block them. (For example, "somecompany.com" uses "3rdpartyvictim.com's" email servers without them knowing it to send email to Expedient.net. Unless we also block "3rdpartyvictim.com" from sending email to us, email from "somecompany.com" could still reach us.
What do UCE, UBE, MLM, and other acronyms mean?
UBE - Unsolicited Bulk Email - This is email which is sent to you, which you never requested. The form of the mail suggests that it has been sent to everyone and their mother, or sometimes there are dead giveaways like a CC: list of several dozen or hundred people. Note that this email doesn't ask you to buy anything directly or advertise a commercial web site.
UCE - Unsolicited Commercial Email -Same as above, but the message has a commercial spin to it, asking you to buys something or visit some company's web site for the actual sales pitch.
MLM - Multilevel Marketing - This describes schemes where you are asked to buy some product (a report, a software package, just about anything) and you are promised phenomenal profits from reselling that product to as many people as possible. This is also occasionally twisted around to read "make lots of money."
MMF - Make Money Fast - These are schemes where you are given a list of names and addresses and asked to mail money to the people on the list, then cross off the first name on the list, and add yours to the bottom. After this you are asked to distribute the list with your name on it to as many people as possible usually by spamming it to every newsgroup you can find. These are also commonly known as money pyramids or pyramid schemes and are illegal in the United States in paper and electronic form. MMF email messages are pretty easy to spot by their titles.
ECP - Excessive Cross-Posting - This refers to news posts which are posted to multiple newsgroups. Crossposting in itself is not as big of a deal as EMP (see below) because when a message is crossposted, only one copy of that message actually exists - the others are just links to the original message. However when ECP is posted to many groups where the message would be considered off-topic, then it is considered an abuse issue.
EMP - Excessive Multi-Posting - Same context as ECP, however all of the messages are individually posted to the news server, resulting in more disk space, CPU cycles and network bandwidth being wasted. One hundred individually posted messages is a bigger problem than one message crossposted to 100 groups.
UDP - Usenet Death Penalty - A mutual agreement by a number of Usenet providers to stop accepting traffic from another provider. Often used as a threat against Usenet providers who have a steady stream of spam posts coming from their machines and refuse to do anything about it.
Have an acronym that's not on our list? Try http://www.acronymfinder.com/
Where can I find more detailed information about ways to fight spam?
Click here to learn more about Expedient's Spam Filtering Service.
For more information about Spam prevention and filtering, education is the best method. Below we have listed different links that talk about Spam and offer many great tips for prevention:
The following newsgroups should also provide more information about spam: