Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Unsolicited commercial email, or spam, is a plague, a problem and a pain. These questions and answers cover identifying spam, where spam comes from, why it exists and what we can do about it.
This is clearly something you were able to track down to a Facebook-specific relationship. But all it really is... is spam.
Cgiemail is a program that many websites use to send email. Unfortunately certain versions can be abused by spammers, and you get the blame.
I look at a recent rash of spam / malware claiming that your favorite celebrities have died.
Blocking spam is a huge job. The state of the art in spam fighting these days is complex technology that analyzes characteristics in each email based on what users have marked as spam.
One of the techniques many mail providers use to reduce the flood of spam is to limit how much email you can send in a certain period of time.
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to trace spam to a specific place and charge them. There just isn't.
Emails that look like a critical update from Microsoft are scams. We'll look at exactly what makes the scam obvious.
We all receive emails that indicate we've won several different lotteries. Are any of these winning notifications valid? I'll review what to look for.
It seems with all the constant news and awareness about spam it would disappear as people fail to fall for it. Sadly, that's nowhere near the case.
Blocking spam based on the email address it comes from is pretty pointless. I'll look at why and what you should do instead.
Porn spam doesn't mean anyone did anything illicit. Spam simply is. Lack of spam doesn't imply you've been good, either.
It's tempting to want to reply to spam and tell the sender to stop it (or worse). Not only is that ineffective, it could result in more spam.
Rejecting email from specific unwanted senders turns out to be surprisingly difficult unless your mail provider or email program supports it directly.
Other than stopping spam on your end, there's little you can do to prevent it. The best bet is to learn to use the spam filters in your email program.
Getting spam into the spam folder is tricky because spammers constantly change their names and email addresses. The best you can do is train your filters.
You can't effectively block a spammer's ID, IP address, or "from" email address because they'll just change it and keep sending spam. There's only one way to battle spam.
Stopping spam is essentially an impossible task. We'll look at the steps you should be taking to stem the tide and stay sane.
Legitimate mail ends up in the spam folder because somewhere, somehow, some spam filter thought it was spam. I'll look at why, and what to do.
The practical reality is that you can't stop spam. The best that you can do is deal with it as efficiently as possible using the technologies that you have in your hands today.
Spam happens, and sometimes it really looks bad. The best way to protect yourself is to learn how to use your spam and junk filters effectively.
Email providers use many techniques to attempt to stem the flow of spam. Occasionally, those techniques can cause legitimate mail to be blocked as well.
It can be disconcerting to get spam that seems related to the sites you visit. It's probably not related, but there are a couple of ways it might be.
An email address isn't the same as an email account. It's trivial to send email "From:" an email address without access to the account.
As a result of techniques used by spammers you may get bounces for email you never sent. There's little you can do.
Infected machines are thought to be a leading cause of spam today. What you should do if you're infected, and how to keep from being a spammer.
It's not that uncommon for email to bounce and bounce in ways that implies that you might be spamming. I'll look at what might or might not be happening.
As the volume of spam increases, I believe that the email industry will ramp up their technologies to help continue to make email manageable for folks like you and me.
There are two kinds of mail that can end up in your junk or spam folder. It's really best not to look at the bad stuff!
One popular Internet scam is to make something look like an honest mistake that would let you download something expensive for free. Don't fall for it.
Asking someone not to spam you when handing over your email address is probably ineffectual. Consider carefully before you give out your information.
Whether or not an unsubscribe link is safe to use can be incredibly difficult to determine. Here are some rules of thumb.
The problem is that the from address on an email is incredibly easy to spoof. Fortunately, that spam has nothing to do with your servers.
Particularly when dealing with email, terms like opt-in and opt-out have specific meanings that often clarify what is, and is not, spam.
Reporting spam can help you get less spam, but you need to use it properly, and realize just who you're reporting spam to.
Marking spam as spam is an important tool in the war against it, but exactly what happens when you do so is clouded in mystery.
Gorbs is a black-listing email service and it could black-list your email accidentally.
Security-related information in your email account is used to recover your account. But what if the hacker now has access to all that?
Botnets are implicated in the increase in spam in recent months. Bad news: many are infected and part of the problem. Good news: it's easy to avoid.
Challenge/Response is a spam fighting technique that forces you to prove you're human before your message will be delivered. It's controversial, to say the least.
Challenge/Response is a controversial spam fighting technique that forces senders to validate themselves before their email will be accepted.
Email services are now very inconsistent in how they approach undeliverable or "bounce" messages. We'll look at why, and what you can count on.
An error caused my newsletter to come "From" the wrong address. Flooded with challenge/response mails I wonder: what other messages are you missing?
Not a day goes by I don't get email addressed to someone else with my address nowhere to be found. The reason? Spam.
Many people are receiving spam that looks like it comes from someone they know, but with the wrong email address for that person. I'll take a look at what's going on, and what you need to pay attention to.
Among the spam we all get are messages that we appear to have sent ourselves. From-spoofing is just a way spammers try to get their email delivered.
There are many ways spammers harvest email addresses. While unlikely, simply sending and receiving email might well be enough.
Spammers use many techniques to fool you into opening and acting on their messages. I'll look at what they do to your email address.
One of the casualties of the war against spam is reliable email deliverability. Sometimes mail simply never shows up. We'll look at what can be done.
Fighting spam is an incredibly complex and unfortunately inexact effort. Spam filters use data from many places - including you - to determine what is and is not spam. I'll review what steps you should take to maximize getting what you expect.
Getting spam is the norm these days. If you suddenly start getting spam when before you had not, the question isn't "why?" - it's "what took so long?"
There are a couple reasons why people might claim you're spamming them when in fact you are not.
Most email programs have the ability to block email from a specific address. Unfortunately blocking a sender it an ineffective way to block most spam.
It seems like it should be easy to trace spam and phishing attempts to their origin. Sometimes it is, but it's often a very complex and costly process.
Those are CAPTCHA tests are to prove that you are a real human and not an automated computer trying to send spam, but it shouldn't happen on every email.
Malware and viruses have changed over the years. Today's rash of botnets and viruses have different reasons and goals for hacking than they did decades ago.
Spammers use various techniques to try and force their way into your inbox. One of the most frustrating is spoofing where the message is coming from.
A recently common technique in the war to send you spam is to include a lot of unrelated text in the message. We'll look at why this often works.
Blocking is an ineffective way to prevent unwanted emails. It's better to learn spam filtering.
If spam has increased in your Gmail account.. it's just a fact of life. The question is whether or not Gmail's spam filter is catching it.
One approach to prevent spam is blocking email from the IP address of known spammers. Like any spam fighting technique, there are false positives.