When Spam Isn't On The Menu
By Judith A Rogow
Oct 1, 2002 - 7:07:00 AM
Photo By Richard Hormaza
LOS ANGELES—Do you want to make six million dollars and lose weight while you sleep? What about a few free phones and vacations, or does enlarging a certain body part pique your interest? I thought not. However, those who send "Spam" email hope you'll fall for their pitch - and they seem to be relentless!
There are ways to combat this avalanche of unwanted and unwelcome email, however, replying to the "remove" directions isn't the best idea. When you reply and ask to be removed, it proves you are reading the posts - and you are immediately added to a distribution list that will be sold, thus guaranteeing even more annoyances.
The best way to rid yourself of Spam emails is to filter them through a killfile. If you use an MS Outlook program, the method is easy. Simply highlight the email, click on "Message" and then "block sender". If the same subject shows up from different senders, go to "Message" then "create rule from message". From there you can ask the program to delete any messages with certain words in the subject. Blocking the basics - XXX, FREE!!, Sexy, and a few others - will clear out much of the dross. If you are receiving email with "Oriental" characters, simply highlight them one by one, and paste them into the killfile program. It's a pain to do, but the results are worth the aggravation. You can also block the ISPs that are Spam spewers, most of which are overseas. If the address ends in .tw, for instance, it originates from Taiwan, kornet.net is a Korean site known for allowing spammers. Unless you have family or friends there (or business dealings) you can simply tell the program to filter out all email from that location. AOL has a proprietary filter that, I'm told, works much the same way.
You may wonder, how did I get on so many mailing lists, anyway? Well, if you register at a web site, buy something online, subscribe to a Usenet group or a chat room, your address will be acquired by a specially designed program, and added to the lists.
You will avoid this to a certain extent by using a block - for instance adding 1J2J3 in your name when you add an account (providing your ISP allows this). However, the programs are becoming increasingly sophisticated and have already "learned" that SPAMNOT in an address is a blocking mechanism.
Another route is to subscribe to a service that already has filters in place that remove the majority or Spam, worms, and viruses before they can even get to you.
As I mentioned in the last column, fee-based services are available to those of us who aren't AOL subscribers. I had meant to write about the best of these - Newsguy - in this column, but my allotted space is running out. Suffice it to say, if you're interested in a service that skims off the majority of Spam before it hits your computer, log onto Newsguy.com for the details.
OCTOBER IS LUPUS AWARENESS MONTH
Someone you know probably has Lupus, it hits one in five women.
It's not just pain and fatigue. It affects major organs, too.
Help the Lupus Foundation of America to educate and support those affected by lupus and find the cure!
The nationwide survey of more than 1,000 adults showed that on average more than six of ten adults do not know that lupus can affect major organs, including the heart, lungs, kidneys, and brain. Lupus is a potentially life-threatening disease that causes the immune system to attack the body's own cells and tissue. It is a significant women's health issue that no one is talking about, contributing to the lack of public knowledge about the disease.
The most common symptoms of lupus are joint swelling, joint and muscle pains, extreme fatigue, fevers, and skin rashes on the face, neck and scalp. Other symptoms can include sensitivity to sunlight, hair loss, fingers turning white or blue in the cold, and mouth or nose ulcers. Symptoms that might indicate vital organs are affected include chest pains on deep breathing (pleurisy), excessive protein in the urine, and seizures. Most people with lupus will experience only a few of these symptoms, which can range from mild to severe. Lupus also can go into periods when symptoms are not noticeable, making lupus difficult to detect. Because lupus strikes
mostly young women, common symptoms may be dismissed as nothing serious. The Lupus Foundation of America warns that this complacency can be dangerous. At the present time, there is no cure for lupus.
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