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Archive for December 27, 2006

Dec. 27, 2006 — [[Suspected spam]]

There’s one thing that most people, including the hosts of a favorite call-in radio show, absolutely detest.

And that is the spam that continuously flows into email inboxes. It’s been estimated that one of the biggest drains on worker productivity is not only trying to diagnose unwanted emails, but to tend to the aftereffects of an unwanted email if a bot or virus or worm is let into a computer system.

I’ve been fortunate to have worked with Gmail for more than a year, and it has served me well when it comes to blocking spam emails which have become more and more imaginative when it comes to trying to finding its way into an inbox.

Some try to use spaces or dashes in try_ing to pitch a p r o d u c t to you through s-p-a-m emails. Others have complete gibberish in the email body but have a small attached picture which tries to make its own sales pitch. Here’s one bizarre email that found its way into the spambox recently:

A proverbial parking lot teaches a radioactive cab driver, and the steam engine bestows great honor upon a chestnut. A fighter pilot toward some ocean, the barely radioactive corporation, and a nuclear cyprus mulch are what made America great! If a cyprus mulch inside a grain of sand throws a salad dressing at a flatulent buzzard, then a paper napkin ceases to exist. Any burglar can eat an ocean about a bullfrog, but it takes a real hole puncher to be a big fan of some oil filter.

Lorem ipsem, anyone?

In any case, I have had problems with email filters which have done their jobs a little too well. The America Online filter has caught several critical emails when it comes to communication with my web-hosting company. Another email filter I have through Brightmail has snagged some virtual Christmas cards as well as emails from friends where the salutation in the subject line is simply, “Hi”.

If there’s a moral to this tale, it’s one The Computer Guys often use: be as educated as possible and use a good firewall.