back to article Ever had to register to buy online - and been PELTED with SPAM?

Spam has been a fact of life, on a par with death and taxes, for many years now. To be blunt, spammers don’t particularly care about us. They don’t have any sense of reason or shame that we can appeal to, and they have no incentive to be accommodating. We’re not their customers. In fact they make their money from selling us, not …

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  1. jke
    Paris Hilton

    Always Register with Charities

    There is a good reason to register as a donor if you give to a charity. They can claim "gift aid" from the Revenue which adds, I think, an additional 28% to your donation. Paris, because she has been out of favour lately and is well known to give willingly

  2. heyrick Silver badge

    Semi-related whinge

    Those sites that require you to create a profile before they'll tell you how much they're going to hit you for postage. That's the point where I close the tab and instruct Firefox to "forget about this site". All they need to know is the postage method (SAL, EMS, courier, etc) and the country...

  3. Gaz Jay

    It's all about Opens and Clicks

    I used to work for a marketing company - we handled mailing lists for some pretty big UK retailers.

    One of the things we used to do was sanitize our mailing lists. The reason for this was to keep costs down for the company we were mailing for, to try to keep good relations with it's customers/former customers and also to stop our own email dispatch servers from being black listed.

    We used to keep track of which email addresses were being "opened" and "clicked". If we sent an email to a particular customer and it wasn't opened (but was received OK), we would note this in our mailing list. If we sent out a further 2 emails that were not opened by this address, the email address would automatically be removed from further mailings.

    I don't know if any other marketing companies were doing this. But it made sense to us. The companies were were mailing for consistently got >95% successful delivery rates and high open and click rates as a result.

  4. Evan Essence

    Re: It's all about Opens and Clicks

    I read plain text email by default, and only enable HTML and Javascript if the email is interesting and from a source I trust. Glad I do.

  5. Hollerith 1

    I try not to buy from sites that force me to register

    When I'm looking to buy something online, and find the shop I'm dealing with is forcing me to register in order to buy, I see if a competitor will sell without the registration process. I then stick with that one and blacklist the forced-to-register site, and if I am feeling in the mood, I email the latter to say 'this is why you did not get my business'. I like to use vendor websites rather than Amazon if i can, sort of like supporting the independent little shops, but if I have to register, I figure I have no reason to add to my pain and go back to Amazon or a similar site I have had to register with. Of course, that's why they like you to register.

    I also make a point of deleting any special offers that come from a forced-to-register site. It just encourages them.

    Finally, I often take the grmpy pleasure of registering each and every time on certain sites, such as ticket sales sites. I have one concert hall that now sends me about 12 advanced programmes via snailmail. Thir money down the drain, and I never have to worry about remembering my login.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    Re: I try not to buy from sites that force me to register

    Ahhh Hollerith, so do I... but some are sneaky!

    They create a profile for you anyway with a random password and then notify you that you can log into their site when you return.

    Dixon/PCWorld/Curry's, I'm looking at you!

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    In the UK we have the TPS, MPS, FPS, e-MPS and the Baby MPS. All supposed to reduce the amount of shite hitting your telephone, post box, fax and email. All schemes operated by the Direct Marketing Association (iirc).

    It's not ideal as it's really no more than just a little self-regulation by the marketers. But, in my experience, the TPS and MPS have a noticeable impact upon phone calls and direct mails from within the UK.

    The problem is, as I recall, even if you are on one or multiple lists, those companies who operate a default opt in at registration (and there appear to be a growing number of these in the UK) then that very act of enforced consent at registration (with opt out post-registration) opens up the floodgates once again, as it may be deemed that you have given your consent to all and sundry thereby rendering any prior TPS, MPS etc registration null and void.

    Ultimately trusting all marketing scumbags to self-regulate is like asking an alcoholic to work in a bar without taking a drink - some may, others won't.

    But hey, if you are in the UK and there are some larg(er) UK organisations not following the rules of self-regulation to the letter then why not organise a PITA protest and get say 1,000,000 people to flood the data controller(s) with highly detailed, lengthy and watertight DPA requests? I'm sure they'd love that. After all, the most they can charge for a DPA SAR is a tenner. Get enough people to simultaneously submit a watertight and highly detailed DPA SAR and I'm quite sure it case some considerable grief. I'd pay a tenner for the chuckles!

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "and I'm quite sure it case some considerable grief"

    ...and I'm quite sure it'd cause some considerable grief. (Like the hangover causing my typos)

  9. Derichleau
    Happy

    Section 11 of the DPA

    To stop receiving any and all marketing from a UK-based company you should opt-out under section 11. But you have to make sure that the data controller is a UK-based data controller, which rules out Amazon for example as their data controller is based in the EU so they don't have to comply with the DPA.

  10. technohead95

    Desperate need to control spam

    I think there needs to be a system in place to control spam. The reason why email spam is so common is because it is so affordable to do so. It costs next to nothing to send out mass emails.

    One method I read a while back was to charge for every email sent. The charge would be something very small like 0.001p and thus would be almost nothing for home users and would only be a minor charge for larger businesses. However, for spam companies, it would cost huge amounts as they send millions upon millions of emails every day. It would make it simply unaffordable to spam via email. Each ISP and webmail provider would need a way to invoice the email address owner.

    You could argue that most spam companies use zombie PCs to send out spam and thus wouldn't incur the cost. Each email address owner can set a maximum cap on email addresses sent per month and thus protect them from getting stung with a massive bill if their PC has been infected with a spam bot. The ability to control the maximum cap should be easy for the user/business so it does not affect their legitimate day to day use.

  11. Jez Lawrence

    yes. Spam sucks.

    I sympathise with the author of the article though I'm struggling to see the point of it - this is not a new problem, nor is it news that opt out lists are no such thing. You're not even venturing an opinion as to what should be done about it. But if you just wanted to have a moan though, mission accomplished and fair enough - one of the perks of being an interwebz scumba-er, journalist I suppose. Moaning to nerds that spam is annoying is however a bit like calling up the westboro baptist church to tell them God Hates Fags - you're guaranteed a good reception but you're not exactly challenging their world view...

    Me, I just use my very first ever webmail address, which was created back in the mid nineties before spam filters and things were truly available/functional. The spam became totally overwhelming by the end of the decade and I stopped using it for communicating with actual people. Instead I hit on the idea of just using for signing up to websites, games and forums. I have another email address which is only given to actual friends.

    Result: no spam for me at all. Ever. Management required on my part: zero.

    I more or less completely ignore my original email address except for just after making a purchase to ensure the receipt came through. And best of all because it's a hotmail address, Microsoft are paying for all the spam handling software, storage of the several GB worth of Spam collected over 15 years and of course the processor time. Until last year I was considering trying to get an apple webmail address to use for spam, because honestly I'd rather the Jobsien form-over-function hipster brigade suffered ...but then microsoft brought out windows 8 and have actually tried to claim with a straight face that it is an improvement, so I guess I'll stick with punishing Redmond instead.

    Where was I? Oh yes. Spam. It is bad. The solution? Well, as the great Dennis Leary once said: life sucks - get a helmet.

  12. sisk Silver badge

    In answer to the headline....

    Not really, no. I have an email account that I keep specifically to catch such irritating emails. It only gets about 500 messages a day.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just because I buy your product/service doesn't mean I want to get spammed.

    Some good spamfighting tips, especially with the custom email address at your domain. It's interesting to see how an email address gets sold on to other providers and who buys the mailing lists....

    There used to be an hosting/domain company (who shares the same name as that radio station that plays 'more music variety') that wrote into its terms and conditions of sale that the customer would agree to receive marketing communications from the company with no option to opt out (as I found out after I'd joined them).

    Needless to say, a few angry emails later (from me and I would guess the rest of their customers) they've put an option to unsubscribe from all marketing emails.

    All very sneaky to bury it in the T&Cs - when time comes for renewal, it's likely I'll be moving away from them regardless, on principle. Marketing material should always be opt in...

  14. Tralala

    Right on but didn't you forget about apps?

    a despairing voice of reason [sadly, a bit of a rarity on register these days]

    I also hide at Amazon or ebay to escape this info grab..

    If you factor in motley 'verified by mastercard' schemes then sites are not attracting customers but actually driving them away. Sites trading in info need to ask themselves what business they are really in..

    I would add that the same is happening with 'apps'

    As an example I've been looking for a RSS reader/scraper for some Samsung Nexus iPaid Appple thingies

    I can't get one - free or paid - that does not force me to hand over my details.

    There is no benign or practical reason for this.

    App makers should pay me to permit them to track my reading habits so they may profit from it.

    It's unclear if this trade in 'soft-spam' is sustainable in the long term but if personal information is being monetised by companies to mine it, exploit it and trade in it then they must pay consumers to get it.

    Currently we are happy to give it away for free....

    That's got to change.

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  16. Seanmon
    Go

    But on the plus side...

    Feeling brave one year , I bought the missus a birthday present from Agent Provocateur. Haven't quite got around to unsubscribing from that one yet.

  17. bag o' spanners

    I'd hazard a guess that a huge percentage of bandwidth clogging spam consists of socmedia notifications. Too lazy to visit the site? Read 400 likes, comments, and recommendation emails a day instead.

    I noticed that blanket notifications are an opt out item on most socmedia platforms. So I opt out. I also opt out of stuff that "friends" have co-opted me into. Validation junkies may love to bask in the warm glow of a daily spam blizzard, but I'd rather be doing something useful. Like drinking beer.

  18. Arbstop

    data gathering

    By the very nature of online insurance sellers (and I guess the comparison websites as well) the data that you have to submit to them to get an insurance quote is probably the highest value information on you of all the possible online purchasing experiences.

    You have to give them - name, address, occupation, age, health issues and all sorts of data about your lifestyle. Now that info itself must be so valuable that they don't need to actually sell you any insurance and they can make a mint from you.

    When I last thought about getting a car a number of years ago I duly filled in all the online forms, using a disposable email address, and have been receiving some very well targetted spam emails about once a week ever since.

    If you want to setup a website to gather such high quality data on real people then I can't think of a better business than insurance.

    It would be really interesting to see what the various revenue streams are for gocomparethemeerkat.coms are ...

  19. Acme Fixer

    I went to Office Depot and as I checked out, the cashier asked, "Do you want your receipt as paper or by email?" BINGO!!! As soon as they get your email address, the spam starts rolling in!! Of course, I told her, I'll take paper, 'cause if I give you my email address, you will spam me! And I already have enough of that.

  20. David 45

    Spam or not spam?

    Depends on your definition I suppose. I use Mailwasher Pro and find very little to "wash" these days, thank goodness, even though I have several accounts. I have to visit my Hotmail web pages every now and again to check the junk folder in case something legit has slipped in there and, again, there isn't a lot there either apart from the odd 414 scam! G.Mail is much the same. Effective filters can be created to send spam straight to the trash if needs be. I use Spamgourmet to create disposable addresses containing a company's name if I'm suspicious, so it's obvious if it's been passed on, although some sites throw up an invalid address error, or similar, sometimes and I can't use it. My biggest current annoyance is actually Amazon. Their persistent marketing mails are really OTT, with their "recommendations" based on previous purchases but whether that could be defined as spam is probably debatable. Most times, I just delete their stuff on sight, as it gets a tad tiresome.

  21. Bucky 2
    Pint

    Mostly just clueless

    "How would you feel about “registering” with every bricks-and-mortar shop you buy something from?"

    It used to be the case (okay, years ago), that whenever you purchased anything from Radio Shack, they'd write out a receipt by hand, asking for your mailing address so they could send you junk flyers in the mail. Sometimes the sales people would be particularly belligerent about demanding your information.

    It isn't just merchants, either. I recently had an extended stay in the hospital, during which an organization made occasional visits with dogs. It was very nice. I wrote to thank them. Big mistake. Had to write an email filter against them in the end.

    Ultimately, though, I'm still of the opinion that many organizations are simply clueless, rather than mean-spirited. Radio Shack stopped demanding personal information some time ago. The animal folks I still believe are more stricken with overzealousness than with any kind of evil mercenary attitude.

  22. Herby Silver badge

    My own domain...

    I got one as well. Yes, I make up unique addresses for various functions. Yes, I can tell where they got the address. This is all well and good, and I found out that someone harvested my address from a Tektronix mailing list, and I now get all sorts of "ticket generated" spam using that address.

    The downside of this is that with your own domain, you get all sorts of spam that points to "users" that have never existed. Hundreds of them. On each email. So I now have a wonderful pre-processor that trashes all of these. In addition, you get people signing up for hotmail accounts with names on your domain (in my case many in Spanish) and I try to click on the link that says "no I didn't want this" while putting the address in my trash list.

    It is a never ending battle, as the problem with Spam email is that (unfortunately) IT WORKS. So what if you generate zillions of spam emails, if just 10 or so net you some sort of $$$ they they have succeeded in their task. Since the spamming operation is "free" ANY click, virus infection, or silly "enhancement" advertisement is money in their pocket. Simple economics unfortunately. If it cost just 1/10 (maybe less?) of a cent for each email (how much email do you send on a personal basis) it would drive up the costs for the spammers to make it non-economical for them to continue. The reason there isn't (that) much junk snail mail is that it has a definite cost associated with each piece that goes out the door.

    As for such things as mailing lists, I suggest a small "one time" fee to setup these on a server, and allow them to be audited for "spam compliance" (subscription procedures, etc.).

    No solution is "perfect", but when the majority of email can be classified as "spam" something needs to be done. I would like to track down the spammers and greet them with some sort of weapon of mass destruction, but that might be a bit extreme (joke), or then again it might not be, who knows. (*SIGH*)

  23. Peter74447
    Facepalm

    Unsubscribe

    I spent some time over the past 2 weeks going through all my spam and advertising emails and using the Unsubscribe link. Most of them instantly took the hint and claimed that i was removed from the list. A few of the sites did require me to log in to unsubscribe. What got me in this wonderful age of technology is the few sites that informed me that it "May take up to 10 days to process your request". 10 DAYS!!! WTF kind of system are you running if it takes that long to remove an email address from a database?

    You can create an account, validate a credit card payment, transfer funds from one financial institution to another and ship an item half way around the world in 5 days, but to remove an email address from a database "may take up to 10 days"

  24. Wardy01
    Thumb Up

    The side of the coin

    I work for a marketing company that sends about 1 million emails an hour (through each server we use to send).

    The system we employ requires that our subscribers have to make 3 separate "i want this email" confirmations.

    This is a real pain in the ass (tracking who's in what state) but it's a side of effect of the internet being in the state it's currently in.

    I like to think that we are very good at what we do and always respect peoples right to cancel as a result we are very careful to ensure that un-subscribes are honoured (we've gone to the extreme of giving each email sent an individual unique id to ensure we have complete audit trails on them).

    As a result of current thinking we consider a bounce an un-subscribe request in the same way as if someone clicked the un-subscribe link on the email, i personally spent hours spamming our bounce proccessing software (that I wrote to handle this) to ensure it was bulletproof ... something i'm proud of.

    I agree with the message being conveyed here though ... not enough companies do this.

    For my personal email, like many on here I have my own domain but my mail is routed through google, this basically means google filter all my mail and at any time i can do something like "company+my.address@mydomain.com" to use the afformentioned filtering tricks.

    The beauty with gmail is that soo many people use it that it doesn't take long before any new spam is quickly added to googles "learning filter".

    The upshot ...

    I rarely see or have to deal with spam.

    It costs me about £30 a year for a google apps for business account.

    I wish it was a free service but seeing stories like this pop up everywhere makes me think ... maybe i can claim that cost back somehow !!!

  25. Christopher W
    Pint

    Ah, spam.

    I used to use OtherInbox to protect myself against exactly this kind of problem -- not just spam, but that middleground "bacn" which you don't hate receiving but which does clog up inbox arteries.

    Amusingly I once had to supply an email address to download a WordPress plugin (the plugin was useful, so I caved) from MaxBlogPress. I supplied a brand new address on my OI account just for that... And within a day, I was receiving a dozen spam emails. I called out the MBP author on Twitter and emailed over with evidence of the unsolicited spamming - all of which was flatly and vehemently denied.

    Until we can hit a button to electrocute the legitimate sender of an email when they send spam to us, this problem will persist unmitigated. SPF and DK have been shown to only slightly curb the influx of spam. I run a particularly aggressive combination of multiRBL and whitelist setups paired with tuned SpamAssassin and fail2ban on my busiest mailserver and it ditches about 95% of unwanted email -- but yet it still persists. And the amount of 'bacn' is so high now with every company fully committing to their 'online marketing campaigns' that after a while, if the boss maintains his habit of sticking his primary email address into every email form he comes across, there's not much you can do to prevent the influx.

    I wish there was a unified, globally recognised mechanism for instantly unsubscribing - it would be the best elements of a good listserver combined with a protocol-defined mechanism for silently (or with confirmation message) unsubscribing from all mailing lists. It would require headers to be set defining the message as a mailing list which would then enable options in all mail clients which would need to support these parts of the spec. Never going to happen though. Oh well. Time for the pub.

  26. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Not just disposable email addresses

    I obtained a few 070 numbers (UK readers will recognise 'em) specifically to give to companies who have no business phoning me (Yes, I'm TPS registered and unlisted, etc. It doesn't stop everything) - they forward to VOIP accounts

    I've had more than a few calls come in on the numbers and I make a point of making the calls drag on as long as possible. If XYZ company wants to spend £1.50/min to call me, who am I to stop them?

  27. AngryDeveloper
    IT Angle

    Not an issue.

    News flash, Bill Gates said in 2004 that spam e-mail will soon be a thing of the past in two years' .

    We have been spam free since 2006 people!.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I get loads of "offers" from places I've bought from in the past along with the usual spam. Over time I unsubscribed from some but still get loads. Then listened to a recent Guardian tech podcast where they interviewed one of the people behind (I think) the invention of MIME system for multimedia messaging and he gave a tip for dealing with email was to filter everything into blocks of related emails that could be dealt with individually. Following that I set up filters to detect "offers" emails from all the companies who send them to me and diverted their emails to a "email offers" folder when they are received. Result was last night having been away for a week visiting relatives I downloaded ~750 emails but after spam emails had been junk-ed by thunderbird and all the offers filtered I was left with only ~30! Plus I could then switch to the offers folder and identify a couple of sites to see if they had any interesting new year offers!

  29. Brother52
    Happy

    DPA Anyone?

    Until you mentioned $5 I couldn't understand why you were ignoring the opt out/opt in prompts that are required by law for websites that collect your personal data. At least here in the UK we have legislation to protect us from this sort of thing, if a site doesn't offer the option then I don't use it.

  30. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    Tailor the email to the site.

    Some email services allow you to either create an Alias, or as in the case of Gmail, utilize a (Your User Name)"+BlahBlahBlah"(at gmail dot com) addressing convention.

    If your name is John Smith, and you're registering at Amazon, then you sign up with "JohnSmith+Amazon".

    If it's Jane Doe & you're signing up at "The Sewing Supply Palace", then use "JaneDoe+TheSewingSupplyPalace".

    This now *absolutely* identifies where you used the address, and thus whom sold it to the spammers.

    From there, it's easy enough to create an email Filter to automaticly permanently delete *ANYTHING* to that Alias as spam, no matter *whom* may have sent it.

    From there, you can log in to that site, change all your personal information to garbage, & sign out for the last time.

    You've just poisoned their database's value (because it now contains a "Customer" whom isn't *really* named "YouAll SuckSpammingHell", or lives at "1234 Notgonna Tellya Lane, Nowhere, Mumbai", with a telephone number of "+1.23.456.7890", etc) and when the company tries to sell "your" customer data, they then helpfully poison all the *other* potential spammers' databases, too.

    If you can't trust them not to spam you, then don't let them keep your personal data, either.

    Use an email alias, and if they spam you, alter their copy of your personal data, add an auto-permanent-delete rule to your email client for that alias, and you never get spam to that alias again.

    You're welcome.

    =-)

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: @Graham Marsden

    @Anonymous Сoward

    Go Compare always gets hated why? I find that the animated girl on those confused com ads are far more annoying.

    Thumbs up if you agree.

    The mentally retarded marketing person that came up with that annoying as hell cartoon girl that you mention, just gave you a thumbs down for speaking truth!

  32. Derichleau
    Happy

    You can opt out of marketing from any UK company under section 11 of the DPA

    If you're being bombarded by unwanted e-mails from a particular UK company, then all you have to do is write to them and ask them to stop in accordance with your rights as a data subject. Forget all this unsubscribe malarkey, a section 11 request will stop marketing by post, text, e-mail, phone, and if you have an online account, even the advertising banners that appear in your account pages.

    www.mindmydata.co.uk.

  33. Sooty

    What I want to know

    Is why spam still exists? Who are the morons who are actually buying things from these people that make it profitable to continue?

    I accept the phishing, etc emails that mimic valid ones to some extent will trick people, but really who tries to actually buy anything from the slightly less dodgy ones? If I get an email from a company I've never had dealings with, they instantly go on my 'have nothing to do with these crooks' list! Similarly with cold callers, I don't care what you are trying to sell, what sort of idiot will give their details to a stranger phoning them. All the spam is making me less likely to have anything to do with them.

    I got an old window replaced last year, and the company called me several times a week afterwards to 'follow up' ie try and get me to replace all the others (about £4k). I finally shouted at them saying that I was getting the rest of them done ( I will eventually :) ) and would have used them, but there was absolutely no way I'd ever consider using them now due to all the calls. I may have used some 'colourful' language as well. Despite all the previous requests, that time they really did appear to take me off their lists.

  34. Wardy01

    Re: What I want to know

    @Sooty

    That's the thing, you don't have to buy anything from them for them to make money from you.

    Often "real spam" is an attempt purely for you to confirm your email / other personal details in some way.

    Doing so will result in them having confirmation of your personal details which are then sold on.

    They can get your address by doing a range of things.

    To name a few ...

    Randomly generating somename@yourdomain type email addresses and sending a tracked image in it.

    Scrape the data from web pages / forums you might have posted on.

    Hacking in to someone else' database that has your details.

    Others here are also talking about spam through sites they consider initially to be trustworthy but then ultimately do the same thing.

    THAT'S WHY SPAM EXISTS!

  35. Alan Brown Silver badge

    Spam exists because marketers feel they have a god-given right to advertise in your face - and because it's profitable to do so.

    Even when not profitable, some outfits will continue to spam, because they can't imagine any other way of advertising. In a lot of outfits the "most sucessful salesman" is regarded by clients as "the most obnoxious salesman - we only bought something to make him go away"

  36. Wardy01

    The comment is just plain dumb on so many levels I don't know where to begin.

    1. Anyone stupid enough to "buy something to get rid of a sales rep" deserves to be spammed!

    2. Not all spam comes from legitimate businesses

    3. Spam is often not a sales pitch at all

  37. Derichleau
    Happy

    It's simple to stop spam

    Mailwasher Pro and regular expressions for overseas spam, Section 11 of the DPA to stop any and all marketing from a UK-based company. I section 11 my insurance companies so that they're not able to send me an automatic renewal as I never stay with the same company twice.

  38. Wardy01

    Re: It's simple to stop spam

    Section 11 won't stop them all.

    Many will simply outsource their marketing overseas so the email is sent by a third party thus avoiding the problem of the DPA (as far as their concerned).

    If spam was that easy to stop it would be gone already.

  39. Wardy01
    Mushroom

    I love how some people think its sooo easy to stop spam ...

    Give me your email addresses so I can test your theories :)

    I have a neat app I wrote purely for testing my ability to block spam on some private domains.

    It's not as obvious as you might think.

    The most persistent of spammers for example would take to some of the following:

    1. faking the from address

    2. faking the from IP

    3. randomly generating garbage in the subject / body

    4. sending 1 pixel tracked images

    5. spoofing legit business

    6. faking / spoofing subdomains under legit domains

    7. using adressing tricks that mean some emails not sent to you end up in your mailbox

    To send an email requires little more than 1 line of code these days.

    Servers filter email based on rules that you define which are typically based on something like ...

    1. the from address

    2. a keyword

    3. a unique to address (such as the aformentioned "company+me@mydomain.com")

    My app code can randomly generate a to address @somedomain that i specify with randomised content.

    For example ...

    I can put in gmail.com and get out a near unlimited number of email addresses.

    If i then send some email content to each of these email addresses stating in the email header that it came from "notifications@facebook.com" how would your email client know it was from facebook?

    I can style the body to look just like it came from facebook and need only include a facebook logo image to confirm you read the email.

    I then know for sure what your email address is and that you read my email.

    I should point out ...

    I work for a company that sends about 1 million legit opt in only emails an hour, the app i'm talking about is to test our systems from this type of "attack".

    the point being ...

    Am i facebook? ... no

    Can you tell it came from facebook? ... no

    Can your email client tell? ... no

    Who would likely get the blame for my spam email? ... not me

    Is it spam? ... yes

    Did I gain anything from it? ... yes - an email address I could sell

    This is not an exhaustive example of tricks used but does highlight a common problem ...

    The SMTP protocol (language used by mail servers) is flawed and has been since it begin.

    There is no way round this unless the standard for the SMTP protocol is in some way changed so that emails can only originate from trusted non spamming servers that will definately honour an unsubscribe request.

  40. Chris Collins 1
    Stop

    also the same with blogs etc.

    want to reply to a blog or some other comment based site? sure but we need to know your email address for you to reply. why?

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