How can spammers get my email address?
really an unhappy experience to find your mailbox filled up
with spam. Most victims of spam will ask "how can spammers
get my email address?" Spammers collect email addresses
in many ways. For example, they regularly use some search
engines to harvest email addresses automatically from web
pages, newsgroups, bulletin boards, directory services ...
on the Internet. They may generate random sequences of characters,
hoping to match a few valid addresses. They can buy email
addresses from other spammers. Moreover, sometimes people
may be required to submit their email addresses on the Internet
(e.g. before downloading some software), and these addresses
may be released to unknown persons.
to avoid spamming, you are advised to safeguard your email
address. For example, you should not disclose your email address
when filling questionnaires from unknown organizations.
What should I do when I receive spam?
of all, you should never buy/use/enquire any products and
services advertised in the spam. Otherwise, you will encourage
more spamming and you may become one of the victims for scams
(please refer to http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/doznalrt.htm
for the most common scams in spam).
not open any files attached with the spam, because these files
may contain computer virus or indecent material. You should
avoid clicking any links (including the "click here
to unsubscribe" links) or pictures in the spam, because
spammers may use these links to verify that your email address
is active. You should not send replies or "remove me"
messages to the spammers because this will also inform them
your email address is active. Once they know your email address
is active, they may send more spam to you and give your address
to other spammers.
deleting the spam manually, you can set up client-side email
filters in your email clients to file/delete the spam
mail automatically (please refer to http://email.cityu.edu.hk/faq/filteremail.htm
for the detailed procedure). Moreover, you can directly complain
to the site administrator if you know the actual originating
site of the spam. Or, you can report the case to CSC using
the email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
What has CSC done to reduce spam?
now, there is no perfect solution to completely stop all spam.
The following are some of the major difficulties: