There’s nothing to sign up for or download and it takes only a minute to do. Add your email address and link text (and the optional items if you wish) and click the little grey box to encode. Your email address will be scrambled up like this morning’s breakfast into a tidy little “mail to” link you can safely paste anywhere on the web. It can also be used for hiding other links from bots and automated scripts.
We may never completely wipe out spam but this is one sure way to help cut down on the junk you see every day in your email client.
Electronic greeting cards (ecards) are an inexpensive way to tell someone how you feel. They’re great for birthdays, holidays, or other special occasions. But they’re also spammy, annoying, and few of your recipients really care to read them! There are other unfortunate things about ecards that put them on the list of items labeled Do Not Use… EVER.
First, an ecard notice in your inbox is usually assumed as a completely harmless thing; when you see the words “Someone sent you an eCard,” or some other derivative, you immediately start to open it and wonder who the “someone” is and why you are so special. You don’t pay attention to the URL and quickly find yourself clicking on links to view the card… enabling whatever malicious code lies underneath. Congratulations! Your computer has now likely been hijacked to carry out some sinister purpose.
To the unsuspecting and totally trusting computer user, they think it’s all legitimate. Some experienced users are even getting fooled. What’s worse, greeting card seasons will always see a large rash of malicious ecard spam incidents. Trust me on this: sending an ecard for Christmas is NOT a good idea.
Looking for alternatives? Here’s a list of things that not only you don’t have to put a stamp on to send, they are FREE:
Phone calls – nobody calls anymore. You’ll be surprised how happy you will make someone by a simple phone call. You’ve already paid for the service, the minutes you’ll use and your phone – nothing else to buy!
Text, picture, or video messages – use your phone, digital camera or camcorder to send a personalized greeting.
Tweets – use Twitter to send your holiday greetings in 140 characters or less. What could be simpler?
Zazzle pizazz – Create neat, one-of-a-kind Zazzle products and give your friends and family the opportunity to purchase your beautiful picture mug, t-shirt or handbag. At least give them the option to refuse rather than receiving the gift and never using it.
Do you have more free ideas for sending holiday greetings to friends, colleagues and loved ones? Remember, no stamps allowed!
SC_Thor hosts many clients with his company, and uses SpamAssassin to block the Spam from getting through to his clients. SpamAssassin is open-source, and can be run server-side… or via desktop using one of the modified versions people have created. SpamAssassin uses a wide variety of local and network tests to identify spam signatures. This makes it harder for spammers to identify one aspect which they can craft their messages to work around. Anti-spam tests and configuration are stored in plain text, making it easy to configure and add new rules. SpamAssassin requires very little configuration; you do not need to continually update it with details of your mail accounts, mailing list memberships, etc. Once classified, site and user-specific policies can then be applied against spam. Policies can be applied on both mail servers and later using the user’s own mail user-agent application.
Whether you use something server-side, or locally installed on your desktop, make sure you choose a program that allows YOU to set your own customization. You shouldn’t tell the program to automatically delete the emails before you see them. Mark them, yes. Delete them? No… there can be false positives in any program. You don’t want to lose something important, simply because someone chose to use an odd subject line that got marked as Spam.