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How to get 23,751 spams in 30 days


rconner
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An interesting read, even if McAfee did all-cap the S-word.

I don't see how this is even spam...

The five bloggers chose different initial approaches. Danielle started by googling for "free stuff," Dan went for freebie funny clips, and Simon cut straight to the chase by hunting for Viagra.

There is no "free stuff", they get stuff in exchange for giving up their email address to a marketing company.

Now if they could show that they expressly opt'd out of marketing emails, and still got spam that would be interesting, especially if they used unique emails at every site.

McAfee's experiment is an excellent example of how even the most basic safe surfing techniques can have a profound impact on a person's overall "Internet experience."

Since when is giving your email out to tons of "freebie" sites = "basic safe surfing"

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...Since when is giving your email out to tons of "freebie" sites = "basic safe surfing"
Heh - good catch. The writer was, I'm sure, 'talking in the negative' assuming we would all understand the point (which is the whole point) that signing up for stuff was what generated the unsolicited mail and basic safe surfing is not doing that.

Many people come here asking 'How did they get my address?' and the experiment happened to be the exploration of one of the major mechanisms. When last I Googled it, those who go in for such stuff were listing about a dozen ways in which email addresses end up on spam lists - signing up for deals (or just corresponding) with moody marketers is fairly-well at the top but evidence hitherto has been mostly anecdotal and non-quantitative.

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Heh - good catch. The writer was, I'm sure, 'talking in the negative' assuming we would all understand the point (which is the whole point) that signing up for stuff was what generated the unsolicited mail and basic safe surfing is not doing that.
Precisely. I believe that the experiment challenged participants to do all kinds of unsafe surfing in the effort to see what behaviors resulted in the greatest volume of unwanted mail. I think most of the spam described here was probably of the "you-asked-for-it" type, the kind that most of us here know enough to avoid, so for us this could be belaboring of the obvious. The experiment was perhaps less insightful regarding the hardcore botnet-based drugz-penis-watchez spam that we know so well.

-- rick

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One way I've found that spammers get emails of those of us who have a brain, is from our friends who have less of brain...

I caught one of my friends sending out "this is funny" emails, and putting my and all her friends emails in the cc: field, basically sharing her address book with everyone, and then all it takes is for one person to have a address book raping trojan, and all her friends email addresses have now been compromised...

I've actually broken off on or two friendships because people get really offended when you ask them to not share stuff with you, or you try to explain to them that you don't want your email shared with everyone they know. (The friend of my friend is not always my friend).

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...I've actually broken off on or two friendships because people get really offended when you ask them to not share stuff with you, or you try to explain to them that you don't want your email shared with everyone they know. (The friend of my friend is not always my friend).
Oh yeah, been there. Lead by example. Or not. Sometimes it's worth risking your address (and, maybe, everyone else's) to "reply to all" debunking the latest recycling of some breathless urban myth with appropriate links to Snopes, whatever. Would never "cure" the hardcore offenders of course (many of whom are sad and lonely people, it probably wouldn't be a great idea to sever too many of their links anyway). But it does get you off a few address lists. And it's fun. And some are reminded to think critically (a very few will even acknowledge that). And a few start doing the debunking thing themselves.

Some risk but one has to believe the appropriate behaviors are teachable to some.

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