SPAM Techniques and Solutions

SPAM is a nuisance to most of us.  SPAM is like an organism that keeps changing its shape and form, as most viruses do.  We must work harder each day to abate the situation. Spam is not as easy to defeat as some may think.

In this article I want to list many possible scenarios as to how we can fight spam.  And when I say we, I mean you, me, your neighbor, everyone who is concerned about spam.

This article applies only to those whose email address ends with @tfon.com

SPAM is a nuisance to most of us.  SPAM is like an organism that keeps changing its shape and form, as most viruses do.  We must work harder each day to abate the situation. Spam is not as easy to defeat as some may think.

In this article I want to list many possible scenarios as to how we can fight spam.  And when I say we, I mean you, me, your neighbor, everyone who is concerned about spam.

The only 100% effective method of avoiding spam is to NOT use email!  If you use email for any type of communication, chances are you will get spam.

Ask Juan Networks (TFON) has a very sophisticated system for managing spam. But we need your help to make it work better.

1)       Forward the spam that you get in your “INBOX” to junk@tfon.com.  The system will learn the patterns of these messages and will begin blocking them for all our subscribers.

2)       Do not forward spam to other subscribers, colleagues, friends or family.  The spam checker will “learn” it is not spam and will allow it to come through in the future.

3)       If you are expecting an email from someone, and do not get it or it ends up in your spam box, send an email to whitelist@tfon.com.  Include the email address of the sender in the body of this communication.  If you do not know who will be sending it, please visit the sender’s website and find out.  Reputable senders will tell you who or what email address will be used to communicate with you.

4)       Sometimes we can manually override the automated system and block a server from sending us email.  But we must be certain this is an abuser.  Otherwise, we might be blocking legitimate email for someone else.  You can send these pesky spam messages as an attachment to support@tfon.com.  We will investigate the origin and determine the best way to block these particular ones.

If you want to understand how spam works and infiltrates your system, please read the five key factors below.

Origination:   Spam originates from unsecured servers, or personal computers that have been compromised by a virus or Trojan.  Others can make a lot of money soliciting your business through email.  To remain anonymous, spammers will infect unprotected computers with a program that will be used to send the unsolicited emails.  This tactic makes it almost impossible to know where the spam is coming from. Spammers are not going to go away soon.

Dictionary attacks: The spam viruses, more commonly known as “spam bots” will use different sources of email lists.  Some ruthless spam bots will use a dictionary of words to send spam. No actual email addresses are necessary for this method to work.  Spam bots are not human so they don’t care if 10,000 emails are undeliverable.  All that matters is that some of those dictionary words or combination of them will make a valid email address once in a while.  And because they are using infected computers and not their own, spammers see this as an effective way to deliver spam.

Email Forwards:  Although email is a great communication tool, unfortunately each time a user forwards or sends email to a large number of people, the list of recipients contributes to “email address harvesters”, who collect the email addresses of your friends and family for later use. You can minimize the danger of exposing your contacts by sending large distributions via the BCC field instead of the TO or CC fields.  Doing so will hide all the addresses of the recipients from potential spammers.

Mailing Lists:  Joining mailing lists is OK as long as you know the source and have read the privacy statement.  Some mailing lists ask if you want to OPT IN to receive affiliated communications; others will ask if you want to OPT OUT of receiving affiliated communications.  Read carefully or you will end up signing up for more email junk.

Suspected Spam: If you suspect an email may be spam, don’t open it, just delete it, report it, or get a program that does a good job of detecting it.  AVG Internet Security does a really good job sorting spam.

Remember, however much spam you have, we are dealing with hundreds of times more than you are. If you feel overwhelmed, please understand that we are continually working on a balance for all of our customers.  Nevertheless, please understand each change we make to the system may fix one user’s issues while adversely affecting others.

In conclusion, I remind you that spam is not going to go away soon.  I pledge to continue fighting this nuisance for all our subscribers collectively.  I urge you to keep your communication open with us.  Tell us what is working and what is not.  And, most of all, please contribute to the efficiency of our spam checker by forwarding your inbox spam to junk@tfon.com.

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