Ban Spam It is a new day at the office, and workers are getting online to check their electronic mail, only to find that it has been over run by unsolicited junk mail. This mail, more commonly referred to as spam has been around since the beginning of the Internet, and according to a recent article, as the Internet has grown, so has spam (“Spam Spam” E. L. ) A recent study by Star Internet, based on the typical number of staff spending ten minutes a day checking their mail, indicates that spam costs companies in the U. K. 472 dollars a year per worker, and on a national scale, spam costs U.
K. firms 4. 6 billion dollars a year (Gold F. A. ).
This is just one reason why bulk unsolicited (spam) e-mail is costly, time consuming, and should be banned.
The term spam for unsolicited e-mail is believed to have originated from a Monty Python skit in which the dialogue was drowned out by shouting out the word “spam” (“How to Avoid” F. A. ).
This is much the way spam drowns out other messages in in-boxes. Although spam is a problem for businesses, it is certainly not limited to them. A large amount of spam mail is targeted at anyone who has an e-mail address, and many adults are therefore concerned at some of the content that is sometimes received with these inconvenient messages.
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Some spam messages may contain explicit content, such as subject headers that display sexually explicit words and phrases that may be unsuitable for children who have access to the Internet. Even though spam can contain some sexually explicit material, there are generally twelve spam scams that seem to be popular. According to one article, many spam messages may contain promises of business opportunities, making money scams, work-at-home schemes, health and diet scams, easy money, getting free merchandise, chain letters, getting free merchandise, investment opportunities, cable scrambler kits, guaranteed loans or credit with easy terms, credit repair, and vacation prize promotions (Gardner E. L. ).
These are the most popular, but certainly not the only spam scams that are out there today.
According to Dana Gardner, “One person’s spam is another’s marketing triumph.” Many companies see spam as a very easy and cheap way of advertising, and therefore would like to see it around in the future. Steve Whitney, a business development manger at PriceWaterHouseCoopers says, ” Sometimes there is stuff you want to hear about.” Although he later goes on to say, ” I wish I could filter out the other stuff, but I’d still prefer [no spam] to getting it at all” (“Spam Has Choicer” E. L. ).
There may be those few who don’t mind spam or even prefer it, but the majority of the public would still like to see it done away with. In a survey given by the IT Chiefs, 55% said ban spam, 42% said yes to keeping it around, and 3% didn’t know (Adshead F.
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As you can see from this survey, over half of the majority despises spam, and there are many good reasons why. The public, for a number of different reasons, despises spam. Jodie Bernstein, the bureau director at the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection in Washington says,” Spam is a problem for practically everyone with a computer. It’s annoying, it slows down the e-mail system and a lot of it is fraudulent” (Gardner E.
According to one article, spam can distract people from genuine messages that may be important, it can increase peoples’ telephone bills by having to spend more time online sifting through unsolicited mail, and it can use up valuable storage space on computers. Some people feel that it is not that big of a deal to sift through a little bit of extra mail, but spam mail goes a lot deeper than just using up the public’s personal time. At times when people are unable to connect to the Internet, or download speeds slow down, spam could be the cause. Spam can also cause Internet service providers to raise prices due to increased traffic that is caused by sending large amounts of spam.
Spam can also contain viruses that may be damaging to files or programs on computers (“How to Avoid” F. A. ).
There are many actions being taken in the United States, as well as other countries, to fight against the sending of spam. According to an article by Brian Krebbs, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is beginning to focus on spam for a law enforcement investigation.
The focus is primarily on consumer privacy online and offline. This would require that the DMA get consent before sending spam, and lending e-mail addresses to third parties. One spam bill was recently passed by the House Energy & Commerce Committee, which would make a fine of $500 per spam message, and gives the public the ability to sue spammers (Krebs G. N. ).
In the United Kingdom, actions are being taken by the European Parliament to cut down on spam and cookies.
The purpose of this is also to safe guard Union Citizens’ privacy rights. This would require that E. U. based direct marketers ask consumer consent before sending spam or cookies.
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The only downfall is that even if this were implemented, there would be nothing to stop companies in the United States from sending spam to E. U. citizens (MacMillan G. N. ).
In Japan, a large breakthrough in the fight against spam was made.
A wireless Internet service headed by Do Como, which has about 28 million subscribers, is able to block e-mail that it classifies as spam. Customers were outraged to have to download spam messages and then pay for them. It was also outraging Do Como, because it was costing him money as well for all of the spam on his network. In addition to being able to block e-mails that he feels are spam messages, other spam measures let users look at the subject headers before downloading any messages (Creed F. A. ).
Even though there are many measures being taken around the world to fight spam, Japan is really the only country that has had a major breakthrough or success against it. The United States allows people to use the universal solution and sue spammers, but many people do not want to go through the time and hassle. There are many actions that the public can take to dramatically reduce the number of spam messages that are received. One of the most effective ways to reduce spam intake is to implement filters or software into e-mail services.
Testing labs conducted a test recently on six spam filtering soft wares, four of which are commercially available. Of the four commercially available Bright mail came out on top, blocking 93. 91% of spam. Yahoo came in second blocking 63.
53%, third was AOL with 28. 04%, and last was RBL with 12. 49% of spam blocked (“e Testing Labs” F. A. ).
Most spam filters are effective ways of filtering out unwanted spam, but there is always going to be some spam that slips through.
This amount also depends on what spam filter that you use. There are also many programs that are available to aid in blocking unwanted spam mail. In a recent article, some programs that are available today were listed. Bounce spam mail is a program that sends false bounce messages to spammers, making it appear that the e-mail does not exist. EMC (Email Control) sets up anti-spam blacklists and scans for viruses. POP 3 scan mailbox allows users to check mail without downloading them first.
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Spam Cop sends a public spam report to a spammers Internet service pro cider, getting the spammer in trouble or even causing them to lose their service. Spam Hater is a program that helps identify spammers real identities and Internet service provider, and there is a built in spam filter in the popular e-mail program Out Look Express (“How to Avoid” F. A. ).
Another program is that is effective is the Unisyn Spam Exterminator 2.
7. This device adds extra spam filtering power and automatically deletes spam messages. It can be kept current through downloads that are available online (Richard E. L. ).
These programs are all available off of websites, and Out Look Express comes with many computers.
They are generally effective, but no program or filter out there yet can block all spam messages. There are also a few ways to avoid spam other than having programs or filters. One article tells users that complaining to a spammers Internet service provider is a good way to avoid it. Another way is to check privacy policies when subscribing to mailing lists, and do not put hyperlinks on web pages to e-mail addresses. Other effective ways include using false e-mail addresses when filling out forms over the Internet or to use a secondary or temporary e-mail address for public activity (“How to Avoid” F. A.
Over the years that the Internet has been around, there truly has been a noticeable rise in the amount of spam received each day. Many actions are now being taken to aid in helping increase the privacy of the millions of Internet users today, but the stopping of spam mail is something that many people doubt is in the near future. One article said that the only way to avoid spam completely is to not use the Internet at all (“How to Avoid” F. A. ).
This article has a lot of truth because spammers will always find a way around programs and filters. According to an article by Brian Krebbs, the FTC receives approximately 10, 00 e-mails a day from frustrated spam victims (F. A. ).
With complaints of that magnitude, it is no wonder that the FTC is beginning to take action against spammers. Although spam continues to be a problem for many Internet users, the programs and filters out there today are a great help to putting a damper on the amount of spam that is being received.
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It may be a very long time before spam is completely done away with, and only time will tell what the future holds for those annoying spam messages that are waiting for workers, family, and friends on a daily occurrence. Works Cited Adshead, Antony.” IT Chiefs say ban spam.” Computer Weekly. 13 December 2001. Online. Find Articles. 22 March 2002.
Creed, Adam.” Japan Approves Do Como’s Anti-Spam Measures.” Newsbytes. 13 November 2001. Online. Find Articles. 22 March 2002.” e Testing Labs Conducts Performance Test of Anti-Spam Software.” PR Newswire. 4 April 2001.
Online. Find Articles. 22 March 2002. Gardner, Dana.” Intranets & I-Commerce: Spam has Choicer Cuts.” Infoworld. 3 August 1998. Online.
Electric Library. 28 January 2002 Gold, Steve. “Spam, Porn Costing U. K. Firms $4.
6 Billion a Year.” Newsbytes. 4 December 2001. Online. Find Articles. 4 February 2002.
“How to Avoid Junk E-mail.” Internet Magazine. December 2001. Online. Find Articles. 22 March 2002.
Krebs, Brian.” FTC To Announce First Ever Crackdown on ‘Spam’.” Newsbytes. 31 January 2002. Online. Find Articles. 22 March 2002. Krebs, Brian.
“House Energy and Commerce ok’s Anti-Spam Bill.” Newsbytes. 28 March 2001. Online. Galenet. 29 January 2002. Krebs, Brian.
“Judiciary Committee Chews on Spam Bill.” Newsbytes. 23 May 2001. Online. Galenet.
28 January 2002. MacMillan, Robert.” Euro Parliament Advances Data Privacy Legislation.” Newsbytes. 13 November 2001. Online. Find Articles.
22 March 2002. Richard, Kevin. ” Take Spam off the Menu: Unisyn Exterminator 2. 7.” Internet World. 30 May 1998. Online.
Electric Library. 28 January 2002.” The Internet: Spam, spam, spam, spam.” The Economist. 1 October 1997. Online.
Electric Library. 28 January 2002.