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Email addresses

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This is a technical question, not so much applicable to TCS, but something I was trying to figure out. I am very picky with my email and do not sign up for anything using my main email address, I have a junk email address for things that require me to sign up. Recently I had to change my email address because I was being bombarded with very weird spam email messages. Several of them said "unknown sender" and were blank. Others come from very strange people and in the subject line it said "re:" and then something very odd like "the party Saturday night". I was getting 20 of them a day at least. Anyway, when I made the new email address I changed it in my profile here at TCS so I could get pm email notifications and 3 other people have the address.. Today I had those same spam emails
I don't really understand how spam works, but when I have an email address does it become public knowledge for anyone to see through my internet provider, or could people target message boards since they have become so popular for email addresses? Oh and just to clarify, I know this site doesn't give out email addresses without asking for permission, but I was aiming more towards spammers stealing them somehow. I just wish I could stop the spam!
post #2 of 10
Some spammers just try to send to all diferent kind of combinations of emails - wether they know they exist or not.

Translation: they have nothing better to do.
post #3 of 10
There is a big time slam of emails going around that contain a new virus attachment. As always don't open them, and make sure that your virus scanning software is up to date.
post #4 of 10
With the blank ones, this is often a means that they (spammers and hackers) use to determine which addresses are valid out of the millions of random combinations they use. Basically, it's a matter of deduction. They send out bajillions of randomly generated email addresses, to the mail providers (i.e. @aol.com, @msn.com, @yahoo.com, etc.) and to any domain names they can find, especially if it looks like a business. From there, whatever isn't bounced back as undeliverable is a valid email address that they will later send spam or viruses to. Some people really have too much time on their hands...
post #5 of 10
Something that you can do, though, to minimize the effect of this random validation, is NEVER EVER EVER respond to one of these junk things that gives you an opportunity to "unsubscribe" or "have your name removed from the list" or whatever. All that does is validate your address.
post #6 of 10
Get a good spam filter. I use gmail, its got POP access for outlook, and I never see a spam message. If you need an invite, just ask!
post #7 of 10
Any kind of yahoo/hotmail/msn type free accounts will be spammed automatically as spammers will try and get every possible combination and these domains are easy targets. Try finding an unusual combination of letters/numbers for your sign up account or use software with a good junkmail/spam filter to separate them into a folder that you can delete easily.
post #8 of 10
The other thing that these bots can do is pull email addresses off a site like this if you happen to post it in a thread. That is why it is becoming a more common practice for people to type 'deb at thecatsite dot com' if they want to share an email address.
post #9 of 10
If you don't know the sender you shouldn't even click on the email. Just delete it right away and the spammers will think the address is invalid since it was never opened.
post #10 of 10
I guess I am lucky. I have signed up for numerous forums and things and I have a free email account with www.aim.com and have about 3 spam emails a week or less. Sometimes none for a whole month!
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