email spam, the evils and some opportunities
Perhaps email spam is a larger problem for me than for most of you.
- I have used the same email address since November, 1994, and I'm not about to change it just to divert the spam. So every spam originator in the world has my email address on their list.
- In order to make it easy for legitimate Internet users to contact me, I list my email address on my web pages, and make them clickable. I don't hide them in GIF files and the like. So every future spam originator will add me to their list.
- Because my email address is on so many lists, spammers fraudulently use my email address as the sender address on spam that they send. In addition to damaging my reputation, this results in backscatter email (bounced email that is returned to my email address rather than the email address of the actual sender).
In addition to wasting time and resources, I occasionally miss legitimate email that is mistaken as spam.
What are some opportunities for reducing the amount of spam? Most spam fraudulently uses forged return addresses, because the sender doesn't want to be traced. Prevent forgery of return addresses, and you have an immediate improvement. Here are some technologies that address this problem:
- Sender ID is a similar approach from Microsoft.
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