How Spam Is Burning A Hole In Your Pocket

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					How Spam Is Burning A Hole In Your Pocket

The odds are that you will receive at least 15 messages today in your e-
mail that are spam. If you are one of the unlucky ones that number could
soar to as high as 100. We are being drowned in a world of junk email
otherwise known as spam. Our once pristine, organized e-mail box has run
amok with messages promising everything from “Get Rich Quick!” to more
devious forms of spam such as “Your order has been placed with us…”. We
will spend an average of at least 5 seconds per e-mail dealing with spam,
which in a years time can add up to over 7 hours of lost time – almost an
entire working day. So how do we deal with the onslaught of spam and
more importantly how can we protect ourselves and our family from getting
tricked by those seeking to profit or steal our personal information by
flooding our inboxes?

Unfortunately, there really is no simple solution to the spam problem.
Internet service providers such as Earthlink, AOL and others spend
millions of dollars each year trying to protect their subscribers
mailboxes from spammers and phishers (a term used to refer to a
particular form of spam email wherein the sender is trying to trick you
into releasing personal information such as credit card numbers,
passwords, etc). It can be hard to classify what is spam and what isn’t
thanks to the clever ways most spammers operate. Subject lines that make
you think the email is legitimate by including your first name or phrases
such as “Important Information about Your Account”. When you see a title
such as that you believe it is something important and you need to read
it, only to find out it is another piece of spam once you open the email
message.

So how does spam cost you money? There are two actual ways by which spam
can cost you: through actual money lost and through the value of your
time. The later, while annoying, has no long-term effects. However,
when you are talking about losing real money you can find that the
effects of such scams can be long lasting and costly. It’s hard to
believe that spam e-mail could cost you money, but every year people are
getting taken for large sums of money through trickery used by spammers
and phishers.

A typical phisher email may come across as with a title something like
this “Important information about your Citibank account”. You see a
message such as this, and you happen to have a Citibank credit card
account. You open it up and it looks legitimate. The message says
simply that they need to confirm some information on your account for
security purposes and asks you to login to the website by clicking on a
link. The link directs you to a site that looks like Citibank, but in
reality is a scam look-alike page setup by the phisher. You enter your
account information and password and get back a simple thank you page or
similar designed not to arouse your suspicion. You might think nothing
of it until a few days later when you check your statement online and
find out that your credit card has been used without your knowledge. The
phisher has collected your username and password and used it to gain
access to your account.
So how can you protect yourself from being the victim of such a scam?
Better yet, how can you stop spam from getting to your e-mail in the
first place? There are a number of steps you can take to help curb the
flow of spam. The first is to never respond to or forward on spam e-mail
that you receive. Simply report it to your ISP and move on. Don’t let
the spammer know that there is an actual account there or you will be put
onto even more spam e-mail lists. Second, invest in spam blocking tools
that work to help prevent spam from reaching your inbox and also work to
help protect you from being scammed. Such tools usually cost very little
and can easily pay for themselves in as little as a week. Finally,
consider setting up a “secret” e-mail account that only your family and
friends know about. Use this account for correspondence with trusted
individuals and then have another account you use for placing orders,
signing up for newsletters, posting to forums, etc. You don’t even need
to check the e-mail box of the junk account, its just there to act as a
catch-all.

Spam is a costly problem that affects everyone who has an e-mail account.
You can fight back against spammers and help to make sure that you are
not the next victim of one of their scams. All it takes is the right
tools, the right attitude and a desire to help rid your e-mail of junk
once and for all.

				
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posted:8/16/2012
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Description: The odds are that you will receive at least 15 messages today in your e-mail that are spam.