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This little guy has absolutely nothing to do with this website. The webmaster just thought he looked cool.

Ban the SPAM!

Category: 2002 Published on Wednesday, 18 March 2009
Mike Berman
Dave Berman

Unfortunately, I find myself agreeing with my frizzy-haired offspring, which is a real downer at best. But SPAM is the scourge of the Earth and all who distribute it should go before firing squads!

Now, there are several ways to battle this evil incarnate, but truthfully I've discovered most don't work.

Earthlink offers a Spaminator to all of its members that is supposed to filter out any SPAM-related material. It has yet to catch anything before it hits my mailbox. Other free SPAM eliminators are just as potent -- and hardly worth the effort.

But I recently found a product called SpamKiller from McAfee Software that seems to cut down on the amount of unwanted trivia bound for my email address. And, although some stuff still gets through, it's fairly easy to configure and let's you check all the email it traps before deleting it. This way you scan what it traps and tell the software to let all messages from specific addresses or domains through to your inbox.

Most of these anti-SPAM devices use a keyword system to trap offensive emails, which could lead to problems. I've known many an email to get trashed because it contained the wrong words or phrases or possibly had blank subject lines. So, if you do use a product such as SpamKiller, make sure you check it often.

Bone-headed Dave gives some pretty good advice on how to minimize the amount of SPAM you receive daily. But there are a few things he forgot:

NEVER sign up with email newsletters that offer "opt-in" services. Basically, by giving them your email address, you're telling them it's okay for them to flood your email box with advertising for everything from condoms to cell phones.

Never fill out a survey form that asks what hobbies you have, magazines you read or what profession you're in. These are also used to filter targeted ad material to you.

Be wary of anyone offering you exclusive deals on discounted or free merchandise. This is just another way to get you to sign up for an opt-in list.

I could go on forever, but I think you've got the idea.

I get a lot more email than Webdud Dave -- let's face it, I'm more popular -- and there's nothing more aggravating than to have to wade through a list of unwanted crap to get to what you want -- or need -- to read.

And Dave, don't crow about winning the poll yet, my legions have yet to vote.

Finally a topic Mike and I should agree on. If there's one reason not to have an email account, SPAM is it. SPAM, an acronym for Some People Annoy Me *, can be defined best here:

It usually starts by signing up with newsgroups, trying to get free adult-oriented material, purchasing stuff online or even signing up for an email account. Your boneheaded, dimwitted friend may even be to blame if he/she signs you up for something he thought was neat. Signing up other people for things can also be fun. Quite often I sign Mike up for things he doesn't know about. The Hair Club for Men has a new member. Mike's not only a member, he's also proof that it doesn't work!

Once added to a list, it's extrememly difficult to get removed. Don't ever click on a remove link to remove your email address from a list. It doesn't work. This method is used to confirm your email address. Your name gets added to a list that gets published and sold to other companies that build bigger and bigger lists. Once that's done, software is made available to send mass emails out to these lists. I get emails for everything. Tips and tricks on how to increase my penis size as well as my boobs. Truth be told, I'm quite happy with myself in both of those areas. Mike on the other hand... well I'll save that for another Berman vs. Berman article -- Mike and his shortcomings.

Anyway, I generally receive 30+ emails a day in my standard email account. I don't read any of them except for the occasional viagra email. I'm a curious guy and I own stock in it.

There is some hope. Free email providers such as Yahoo! offer bulk email filtering and this works pretty well, however there has been a time or two where an email meant for me has gone in the bulk email folder so I am forced to check it from time to time. Since I haven't signed up for anything using my Yahoo! account, I don't get much junk mail there anyway.

Dave's SPAM tip of the week: Stay away from Hotmail and Juno. Those free email services are the worst when it comes to SPAM. I still have my Juno account and I check it once a week. I get over 700 emails! 700 worthless emails a week. I don't know why I haven't closed it yet. It's fun in a weird way to watch the download progress bar sneak its way accross the screen and I feel pretty darn powerful and important receiving 700 messages. I don't know of many other people that can make the same claim.

That's it from this side, the right side.

Signing off one more time, feeling good about the fact that I won the Berman vs. Berman poll and am right one more time.

-- Webmaster Dave

* I made that acronym up. Am I good or what!!?!?

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