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Spoof VS Spam

Again another entry that is transported back here from my old site. Following the rave reviews of my past entry, I have decided to continue writing on IT materials and stuff on my weblog in an effort to have the
community appreciate the hordes of IT in line with everyday life. Since there
are some, who tend to read only those in BOLD or those in underline,
I shall continue to do those for more important words in my notion.

There are also some that notify me to place a summarised caption of what they
need to do at the bottom of it, so that if its too technical jargon, they can
just refer to the summary for an overview of this.

Next stop: Spoof and Spam, what are they?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

What is spoof? In

Dictionary.com
, the word spoof is a noun that means creating a hoax or
nonsense, a gentle satirical imitation or a light of parody. However, in
networking terms, the term is used to describe a variety of ways in which
hardware and software can be fooled.

IP spoofing, for example, involves trickery that makes a message
appear as if it came from an authorized IP address. Email spoofing
therefore simply means forging an e-mail header to make it appear as if it came
from somewhere or someone other than the actual source. Of course, in some
jurisdictions, email spoofing anyone is illegal.

Email spoofing may occur in different forms, but all have a similar result:
-> a user receives email that appears to have originated from one source when it
actually was sent from another source. Email spoofing is often an attempt
to trick the user into making a damaging statement or releasing sensitive
information (such as passwords)
.

PREVENTION:

Use cryptographic signatures
(e.g., PGP “Pretty Good Privacy” or other
encryption technologies) to exchange authenticated email messages. Authenticated
email provides a mechanism for ensuring that messages are from whom they appear
to be, as well as ensuring that the message has not been altered in transit.

For me, I started to use Thawte authentication for free personal email certificates that allows me to
secure and guarantee authorship of my email communication by digitally signing
and encrypting the emails, so that only the intended recipients are able to
receive my emails.

Now that we have cleared the issue with spoofing, let us now take a look at what exactly is spamming. As usual, in
Dictionary.com
, the word spam refers to unsolicited email. In short, it is considered a junk email that is generally email advertising for some product sent to a mailing list or newsgroup.

In addition to wasting people’s time with unwanted e-mail, spam also eats up a
lot of network bandwidth. Consequently, there are many organizations, as well as
individuals, who have taken it upon themselves to fight spam with a variety of
techniques. But because the Internet is public, there is really little that can
be done to prevent spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail. However,
some online services have instituted policies to prevent spammers from spamming
their subscribers.

Getting Rid of Spam
Spam has become ubiquitous – one of the facts of life, like taxes. Until strong
anti-spam laws are passed and actually enforced, spam proliferation will
continue because it’s proven to reach a mass audience. If it didn’t work,
spammers wouldn’t waste their time.

Most people, however, see spam as the scourge of e-mail and look for ways to
stop it from infecting their e-mail boxes. There are several ways to block spam from your e-mail inbox. They say prevention is the best medicine, so avoid giving out your e-mail address to unfamiliar or
unknown recipients. This has become very difficult to do, however.

Spammers can use software programs that troll the Internet looking for e-mail addresses, much
like throwing a net in the ocean and seeing what gets caught in it.

Nowadays it’s almost impossible to shop online without providing a valid e-mail address.
Offline stores are even asking for e-mail addresses in exchange for discounts or free merchandise. Please realise that
what they are doing is potentially opening the door for a flood of unsolicited e-mails. These organizations will most likely turn around and sell their list to someone else looking for valid e-mails.

In these cases, it might be wise to have more than one e-mail address, one for friends, family and colleagues and another for unfamiliar sources. There are many free e-mail services in cyberspace to choose from.

However, also know that even trustworthy sources may be unwittingly shelling out
your e-mail address. Ever receive an e-mail greeting card? The sender has given
your e-mail to an organization that may very well be compiling e-mail lists to
sell to spammers. Sad reality but this is the truth.

A second way to stop spam is to use your e-mail application’s filtering
features. Most e-mail applications allow you to block specific messages. When an
offending e-mail comes in, set the filter to block further incoming mails from
that sender.

Most ISPs in Singapore do allow email filtration on the server backend to reduce such emails by paying a minimal fee. Also, there are some anti-virus software that come equipped with anti-spam features for tracking and removing such emails from reaching your email inboxes. Such anti-spam feature normally are tied down to Ms Outlook, Outlook Express or popular email account such as Yahoo! or MSN Hotmail.

A more aggressive approach to ridding unwanted e-mail is to report the e-mailer
to the spammer’s ISP. This is not always an easy task. First you must determine
the spam’s origins. To find the spam’s origins, instruct your e-mail program to display all of the e-mail’s header information. View the “Received” lines, and working from top to bottom you can often pinpoint the origin of spam.

Don’t be fooled by phrases such as “to be removed from this list, click here.” Spammers use these types of catch phrases to entice users to respond to the e-mails. The spammers may or may not remove your e-mail from their list. Either way you have told the spammer that your e-mail address is valid and reaches a real person. They know this because you responded and asked them to remove you from the list.

This can actually be more valuable to the spammers because they can now sell your address to another spammer with the assurance that the e-mail address is legitimate. So you may have been removed from one list, but there’s a good chance that you will end up on another.

Yet another way to deal with spam is to just not be bothered by it. Accept it as
a fact of life. Delete the e-mails from your inbox without reading them and move
on from there. 🙂


SUMMARY:

1. Use various encryption techniques widely available to protect your email messages from being spoof.
2. Invest some money in buying proven anti-spam software such as those products from McAfee or Norton. Its not 100% proven but at least 90% will be blocked.
3. Don’t just simply place your email address on any dodgy websites.
4. Lastly, if you KNOW its a SPAM or JUNK EMAIL, don’t be an ASS-h*** and still continue forwarding it to the rest, therefore making the INTERNET slow.

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