Today’s Thoughtful Thursday is about spam. No, not that canned spiced ham that Hawaiians seem to love so much (did you know that Junk Food News notes “Hawaii leads the way with 6.7 million cans sold annually, which amounts to 5.5 cans per year per Hawaiian.”)
I’m talking about those annoying e-mails that seem to slip past all our best efforts to catch them, flooding our e-mail boxes with dozens of messages about buying Viagra, getting bigger penises or receiving a check for 5555 bazillion dollars if we would only be so kind as to send them all our banking information.
Sex and money are clearly on the minds of these spammers and their intended targets.
I asked one of our techs, “Why do they do this?”
His answer was simple. Not only because they can, but because they send out so many millions of e-mails, even a low percentage of response is a good thing. According to CNET News “the Web site trustedsource.org, (reported that) there were a total of 154.3 billion mail messages sent around the world Sunday and 117.4 billion of them were spam.”
And the spam isn’t just limited to e-mail boxes. The blogs get hit as well with all kinds of fake comments that need to be caught and purged.
Recently there have been efforts made to establish laws to prosecute spammers. The U.S. Congress passed the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003. (Notice how much less spam you’ve been getting since then — NOT!)
The one thing that the CAN-SPAM Act has done is make it harder for legimate businesses to send bulk e-mails to willing participants. Or at least, that’s been my personal experience.
So what can we do about the spammers? Well, the Internet Service Providers and software companies continue to develop products to battle the spammers. You can download a spam blocker and try to keep it current. Try being the operative word because the spammers seem to find ways around the software almost as soon as it’s updated.
What else can you do? I don’t know about you, but maybe I need to explore whether any of my heroes needs that Viagra or a bigger penis . . . No wait . . . I think we like our heroes ready, willing and able.
So I guess I have no choice but to hit that delete button, again and again and again and again.
Copyright 2008 Caridad Pineiro Scordato www.caridad.com