Thursday, December 09, 2004 annoyance or worse?

In the world of computers and e-mail tag Spam has become a constant concern for even the most casual user. Like the problems of junk mail in your old fashion mailbox, people have found ways to target the masses through mailing lists of advertisements such as spam.

There are many different types of spam, most of which are just harmless pieces of junk mail offering bonuses like free tech gear and financial advice. In fact, two of my most recent spam items in my inbox are entitled "free $500 to kmart or sears" and "Lose weight while you sleep - free bottle". Yet, like any average user I habitually delete them without even a read. However, simply deleting spam is not so simple anymore, especially when the amount of spam exceeds the amount of concrete e-mail. Questions begin to arise about the privacy of online consumers and just how these 'spammers' got ahold of their e-mail address without their consent.

In fact there is quite a market for lists of e-mails, and many companies have bought into the craze on the assumption that if they bother enough people..a few will respond and they are able to turn a small profit with minimal effort. it becomes an every day nuisance to people who just want to use e-mail for simple communication without the hassle of deleting their inbox on a daily basis in an effort to battle the spam. In some cases, spam can also be dangerous, harboring viruses and other files that can be harmful to your computer when opened. Many viruses rely on e-mail distrobution for their success and prove to be effective since the average user is not careful with their inbox and opens anything that might sound appealing or familiar.

Very rarely are the benefits of spam seen from the user's perspective, and hopefully software will eventually arrive on the open market to effectively screen and prevent unwanted spam mail. For now, the current anti-spam software is not effective, often filtering out letters from friends and important emails by accident. This will continue, but it is hoped that more anti-spam laws will be passed and people will grow smarter to prevent the spread of unsolicited e-mails.


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