Linda and the continuing saga of junk mail (or why “block sender” never works)
I use windows live as my email and I was very proud that I only had two or three junk emails a month but a couple of weeks ago instead of deleting the junk then looked under sweep and saw block sender so I did and smiled as I thought NO MORE JUNK… but instead I have been overwhelmed with new junk from via/gra and the likes. The more senders I block the more I get. I get 82 junk mails….yuck….please save me !
Also, when I use a program like CCleaner or defrag that takes a long time to complete my computer screen goes black after awhile and when I touch the mouse to open I am on my sign in screen so I sign in and see the program stopped when the screen went black and is picking up from there so unless I sit by the computer and keep it from going black it will never finish. Is this usual? Thanks for the amazing easy to read newsletter and I love your new ebook…..Linda
Hi Linda. Thanks for the nice comments and for buying our e-book. I bought several copies myself (TC). I just like watching it download. I like to hear the cash register jingle too. But EB won’t reimburse me! Everyone should stop reading right now and buy a copy of our InfoAve Premium Volume 8 E-book not only because it’s a great ebook but because we need the money. If you already have a copy, buy another and give it to a friend – or just have two, three, or four copies stowed away on your computer because you love us so much! (Kidding — kind of 🙂 )
Let’s try to help you here. Do you know why block senders doesn’t work as a way to block spam? Because spammers send from hundreds, maybe even thousands of email addresses – either conjured up or real email addresses they’ve snarfed up through various means – including people clicking on the unsubscribe links in spam emails. (Oh yes! Clicking those unsubscribe links is a perfect way for you to ensure the spammer has your email address and to tell him or her your email address is valid and working.)
Here’s an example. Suppose my name is Günter Jordan (it’s really not, but suppose it is) and I’m a spammer. I have several very high-powered computers set up as email servers and I also have a network of botnets and zombies – computers that have downloaded my Trojans or malware through trickery or whatever. I have my mail blaster bulk email program set up to randomly send spam from 1000 different addresses. And I also have a network of 500,000 computers which are infected with my malware which has now turned at least 500,000 computers into zombies which I control and which I can use to send more spam from more different email addresses. So I’m sending spam from tens of thousands of email addresses – none of which are mine – and most of which are real. So go ahead and click “block sender” and see if I care. You’re not going to block all 501,000+ addresses I’m sending spam from and even if you could – every day I’m getting more and more addresses by infecting more and more computers – and recruiting more zombies for my spamming empire. Yes, I’m a malevolent guy – but I’m not stupid.
OK I’m done being Günter Jordan — and I’m back to being the lovable dough boy you love to love – TC. Now do you understand why block sender doesn’t work, and never ever will?
There really are no perfect spam filters, Linda. The reason why there are not is because spam is as complex as it is illogical. You can’t always assume that mail with the one or more words like spam, virus, Trojan, worm, buy now, click here, spyware, and the like. is spam. Yet some ISPs do just that. Some home PC spam filters try to identify spam by scanning the contents of the body of the email and some try to filter spam by trying to match the “from” address with an IP address – but no spam filter works 100% of the time; most spam filters don’t even come close.
Another problem with spam filters is they block good email too and if you’re not careful to browse through your spam or junk folder before emptying it (or Yahoo, Hotmail or Gmail empty it for you) guess where all those good emails go? Spam filters have become censorship filters. No spam filter yet created works well enough for us to recommend. And no matter which spam filter you use, you’re going to have the same problem: good email is going to end up in the trash and you are still going to get spam. A spam filter may indeed cut down on the amount of spam you receive but if you miss just one important email because the filter tossed it in your junk or spam folder then you’ve lost it forever. You’ll then have to hope that email wasn’t all that important.
So is installing a spam filter worth it? That’s up to you to decide. We have most of our personal and business email accounts set up through Google’s Gmail simply because their spam filters work on an algorithm created by (and used only by) Google which we’ve about 98% accurate. That is a much higher accuracy rate than any other Web mail service. Plus Gmail doesn’t delete anything so we can (and do) go back and check our junk folder often to make sure Google’s filters didn’t toss some good emails in with the junk.
If we didn’t have businesses on the Web, we wouldn’t be getting over a hundred thousand spam emails a month (we’re not kidding). We’ve come to realize that spam is fact of Internet life and we have learned to live with it. If there were a simple solution to the spam problem, then spam wouldn’t be the problem it is. ISPs have created a problem almost as bad as spam by using really poor spam filters which decide which emails are spam based on the content and that makes it censorship.. But it doesn’t stop the spam.
Are we saying “learn to live with it, Linda”? No. But we want you to know that trying to stop spam using block sender is an exercise in futility.
As far as CCleaner goes, we think it’s one of the most over-rated programs ever. But CCleaner it has a very loyal following. Maybe one reason is because it seems to exaggerates the amount of junk it removes. But one thing we can tell you for sure is that its registry cleaner can cause serious computer problems. If you wish to continue to use CCleaner, don’t use its registry cleaner.