Festival seasons and Spamming
[How many email addresses did you harvest this festive season?]
During Dec-Jan every year thousands of people exchange Seasonal
greetings for Xmas and New Year. Most naive individuals (especially
those who have taken to the net recently) send greetings to friends
leaving email addresses open for anyone to harvest.
For instance one my friends – one Sri K Subrahmaniam does not realize
that when he replies to post from a member in discussion group, the reply is
sent to all members of the group. He has replied every New Year
Greetings from Group Members thus increasing NYG messages by adding
his own twenty plus in just a day to EVERY ONE OF 650 members of
There are simple programs to collect addresses from email messages,
remove duplicates, verify if message can be sent at all (if addressee is
reachable), whether there are domain name based errors etc. Using
these techniques a good spammer friendly database can be created
easily. Then the fun begins.
Just you are bombarded with hundreds of SMS messages of all types in
your cell phone, your Email Inbox may be inundated with
inappropriate, indecent invitations to many things such as:
"come and sleep with me; I am very hard to please" shouts a teenage girl
"Buy Viagra and experience heaven" says another
"become a millionaire overnight" dupes yet another
"bribe God by forwarding the message" fools another email
Limitless are ingenious ways in which you can be spammed.
If you ask me why I have not sent any NYG message to our members, I
would like to reply with a poker face:
"I was busy building an email database of senior citizens"
Incidentally a message is a spam ONLY if 1) it is distributed to a very
large number of people AND 2) it is sent unsolicited and the recipient is not
expecting it. Both conditions need to be satisfied for a message to be spam.
Are you conscious how you are helping nasty spammers?
What can you do to reduce spamming?
Your answers are welcome?