So - here are ten common reasons why people get spam together with a few practical tips to avoid getting spam.
1. When they receive an email with a little GIF file attachment – they click on the GIF file to see the pretty picture not realising that this GIF file is in actual fact a WEB BUG, designed to confirm the existence of their IP and email address. By the way there is a site that claims that they’ll help you detect the invisible web bugs.
2. They reply to special offers. I remember when I replied to this offer from Britney Spears for free Viagra….No just kidding but seriously – DON’T REPLY!
3. They click on some pop-up advertising and enter their email address and click the tick box that says that the company will not sell their data on as it is part of the data protection act. DON’T REPLY to these ads (except on this site of course).
4. They’ve upset someone so badly that the person has decided to get revenge by giving out their email address to as many potential spammers they know.
5. They’ve tried to unsubscribe from an unsolicited newsletter which has in reality told the spammer that their email account exists and is in use. DON’T UNSUBSCRIBE from anything you never subscribed to in the first place!
6. They’ve applied for some free gift on the web. NOTHING IS FREE!!! (apart from a few special reports on this site of course).
7. They get them from people’s web pages…automatically either through web spidering techniques or web harvesting. This is why some people write their email address down as NAME(at)webaddress(dot)com to try to prevent spidering and web harvesting techniques.
8. Spammers get email addresses when someone gives out their email address in a chat room.
9. Does anyone ever send you joke mail? Can you see all the other people who are on that list? If you can, then so can all the other people on that list….who you don’t know…who could actually sell the list to a spammer (or who could even be a spammer themselves!) . Get yourself off of all joke mail lists. I’m not kidding and even if they are your best mate – you just never know what little buggers are being forwarded on!
10. You know those really useful friendly Arnold Schwarznegger “I’ll be back on…..” out of the office messages. Well if someone is spamming on a whim and get an out of office reply…..….well you guessed it – they now have a valid email address that they can sell to other spammers
11. Wow – yes I know the title said Ten but I was always taught to under-promise and over deliver so if you go here you’ll also find tons of extra advice.