Smart E-Mailing

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This site offers an enlightening and often humorous view of SPAM and SPAMMERS as well as serious discussion about the subject. There are some great suggestions for reducing the amount of unsolicited e-mail you receive, and a number of devilish ideas for "getting even"


Stop Sending YOUR E-mail Address To Junk Mailers...

Are you guilty of making it easier for SPAMMERS to send their junk to you - as well as to everyone you correspond with by e-mail?  You are if you don't take some simple precautions.  When you receive a great joke, cartoon, inspiring story or other goody that you want to share with your friends and family, do you just hit Forward and send it to an entire group in your address book?  That's the easiest way, but it means you're sharing more than just the content of the message.

You're also sharing the names and e-mail addresses of your friends, family and business associates with potentially hundreds of people you don't know!   If the message was forwarded to you the same way, you're passing along other people's lists as well.  The odds are pretty good that somewhere along the line, at least one person who receives this message will consider it a real gold mine!  Not for the content of the message, but for the huge list of e-mail addresses they can use to (1) send out their own Spam or (2) sell to a company that harvests valid e-mail addresses for other Spammers.

How can you prevent this?  Use the BCC option when you send.  If you have a Group set up in your address book, you simply click on the Group Name ie: "Friends & Family", then instead of clicking "To", Click "BCC"  This means "blind carbon copy" and it hides the list of recipients.  Your copy in the Sent folder will show the full list of names, but no one who receives your message will see them.

If you want to put something in the TO field of your message to show it went to everyone in your group, put a new card in your address book.  In the display name, put something like My List, use your own e-mail address or use YC2.NET's "Spam Sink" address if you prefer not to send a copy to yourself.  (A Spam Sink address is one that simply vaporizes the mail that goes to it.  Mail sent there does not go to any e-mail box and is not saved on the server)

It takes a bit more effort, but instead of simply FORWARDING the things you want to share, take time to copy and paste the content into a new message before sending it to your group.   Not only does it make it much easier to read, but it eliminates all those other recipients' names from your message as well.

"Bill Gates Will Send You a Check"  We've all received at least one of these, haven't we?  They usually come from a friend of a friend whose cousin has a friend whose aunt "works at Intel", or is a "corporate attorney who knows the law"   The latest one we received had been forwarded approximately a dozen times and had over two hundred e-mail addresses in plain sight!  If anyone is making any money from this ridiculous ploy, it's the guy who takes all those names and submits them to a Mailing List Provider! 

Our advice?  Hit the reply button and send it back to the person who forwarded it to you.  Ahead of their message, type "Read this" and add a link to this page.

Things you can do to reduce your chances of being "spammed":

  • When you sign up to be part of a group list that receives regular e-mail ie:  a newsletter, a "Joke of the Day", the latest information about some subject that interests you, updates to a website, etc.
  • Check to see what the list administator does to protect members from having their addresses harvested.  Ask if the list is anonymous before you sign up.   Don't give your e-mail address to sites that do not have an ironclad Privacy Policy.
  • When you must "register" to look at some portion of a web site, or to play a game, download free software or purchase something online.  Most reputable On line retailers, news sites, etc. have a Privacy Policy that says they will not sell your information.  However, that may not prevent them from providing it to other advertisers.  Remember seeing the little "option boxes" that ask you what kind of information you want to receive?  Or the one that's pre-checked "yes" for you to receive "E-mail offers of products that may interest you"?

    If you MUST provide your e-mail address to receive information or products you do want, be sure you are aware of all the pitfalls and avoid as many as you can by opting out of all the "extras".

    If the e-mail address is a "required" field, but you do not have to receive mail from the site to obtain the information you want, you may use YC2.NET's "spam sink" address  This is a legitimate address and will be recognized as one by any authentication program a site may use, but all mail that goes to this address is "vaporized", not saved or reviewed, just GONE.

  • If you post to Newsgroups or online message boards, your e-mail address is available to anyone else who reads the site.  Unless you use a special e-mail address or you format your address to make it harder for the programs various people use to scoop up e-mail addresses, you're sure to start receiving junk mail.   Some message boards allow you to remain anonymous.   You may be required to provide your real e-mail address, but that information is not made available to anyone except the board administrator.

  • Posting to Newsgroups or UseNet is actually a subject unto itself.  If you are involved in this activity, here's a link to information about how to protect your privacy when posting there.



    What About Virus Warnings? If you have anti-virus software and subscribe to a service that warns you about new viruses and tells you about upgrading your software to screen for it, consider them your most reliable source. 

    While those who e-mail "Virus Warnings" to you may do so with the best intentions, chances are, they've been fooled by a hoax. 

  • ALWAYS check it out for yourself.  One way to do this is to visit V-Myths This site lists the latest virus hoaxes and has a lot of other good information as well

  • Do NOT "forward to everyone in your address book" as per the instructions contained in these usually bogus messages.  That's exactly what the hoaxer wants you to do - aggravate and/or worry as many people as possible.

  • And NEVER follow instructions about removing files from your computer unless you get them directly from a technician or from your anti-virus software provider.  Doing so may impair the functioning of your computer.


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