I am getting lots of spam. Why isn't everyone else in the office getting the same amount? Why is it addressed to me? How can I stop it?

 


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Email Harvesting

 

Someone has collected your email address. They have verified you really exist at your email address and have then likely sold your email address along with thousands of others to a marketing firm.

 

Email addresses are worth lots of money. Spammers pay for these addresses so that they can spam you and hopefully sell you something.

 

The theft of email identities and addresses is big business. There are numerous ways this could have happened to you. If it happens to you, it might not necessarily mean it will happen to everyone where you work. You might also get more spam at work than home, depending on the strength of your internet providers antispam tools (Or visa Versa).

 

There are numerous ways to get your email address. They include, but are not limited to

  • Online or mail surveys for cash. They often harvest many details from you.

  • Malware (Spyware and viruses etc). These steal your email addresses and your email address book and put the details in the hands of spammers.

  • Marketing lists, are you one

  • Your address can be taken from your companies website if you are listed. There are automated tools for stripping email addresses from web pages. Thousands can be processed per minute.

  • Your friends or colleagues could have had their email address book exploited.

  • You might have signed up for a service or email contact at a website.

  • You might have responded to a previous piece of spam.

 

 

What can you do ?

 

There is no real practical way to track who has your details and how they got them.

 

Eventually you will likely be removed from their marketing lists. Try not to respond to spam emails. Do not attempt to unsubscribe (This just tells the spammer that you are a real person. They might unsubscribe you or maybe subscribe you to a hundred more lists). There are legal agencies able to pursue real spam. You might consider contacting these.

 

For future, be careful who you give your details to. Make sure your email address is not listed on any websites. Use a disposable email address for surveys etc (www.mailinator.com).

 

Check for Malware on your computer. Don't make it easier for them to get your details.

A good place to start is with an online scan and then scan for Spyware and make sure you are using a firewall.

 

You are the weakest link for security. Practice good habits and your Spam will reduce.

 

If you are getting bombarded with to many emails to handle, you are reduced to only one final choice.

 

Change your email address.

 

If you are a business this is cost prohibitive (Website address, business stationary, advertisements etc) consider a service like messagelabs to reduce incoming spam. (www.messagelabs.com.au)

 

 

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To keep up to date you can refer to my blog

 

If you are viewing this page then these specific other pages in this series might be of interest to you:

  • Tools to remove Malware and Viruses
  • Tools to remove Malware etc but still under review by me
  • A page dedicated to helping you get the information needed to remove Malware
  • Spybot installation steps
  • How to perform an online Housecall Virus scan
  • What is Malware ?
  • Why are people using my email address?
  • How did someone steal my Email address?
  • Why is my email being blocked ?
  • How can I reduce spam ?
  • Why did I get infected ?
  • How to Handle Spam!
  • Why do I get all these bounce backs to my email address ?
  • What is a Drive-By Malware attack ?

     

     

     

     

     

     

        

     

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                                                                 This page was written and designed by Michael Jenkin 2011 ©