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Quickly Eliminate 100% of Your Junk Email

Published Thursday 11 August 2005

By Anthony Vita

Why do so many people think I need to take Viagra? I guess it's for the same reason others believe I want to re-finance my home, invest in a new stock and sell my business.

Like you, I routinely receive more junk emails than legitimate ones. Do I look stupid or do they really think I want the latest virus by opening any attachment which accompanies an unsolicited email? Aren't there laws against spamming and why don't they work? Perhaps these are questions for other articles. What you need to know now is that I have found a way to keep unwanted emails from ever seeing your inbox.

For the past year I have been using a program called "Boxtrapper". Until this time I had been relying on various spam filters that used keywords or other factors to determine if an email was spam. The success rate for this type of filtering varied as spammers eventually found ways around the "formula" being used by the filter.

For example, the word "Valium" may be flagged as a spam indicator while the misspelled version, "Va Lium", would get by unnoticed. This is just one of many examples of how spammers manipulate words to beat filtering. The biggest problem is when spammers "spoof" the header information in an email so it's nearly impossible to trace who sent the message. I have even seen instances of people receiving spam emails that appear to have come from themselves!

By Anthony Vita

Why do so many people think I need to take Viagra? I guess it's for the same reason others believe I want to re-finance my home, invest in a new stock and sell my business.

Like you, I routinely receive more junk emails than legitimate ones. Do I look stupid or do they really think I want the latest virus by opening any attachment which accompanies an unsolicited email? Aren't there laws against spamming and why don't they work? Perhaps these are questions for other articles. What you need to know now is that I have found a way to keep unwanted emails from ever seeing your inbox.

For the past year I have been using a program called "Boxtrapper". Until this time I had been relying on various spam filters that used keywords or other factors to determine if an email was spam. The success rate for this type of filtering varied as spammers eventually found ways around the "formula" being used by the filter.

For example, the word "Valium" may be flagged as a spam indicator while the misspelled version, "Va Lium", would get by unnoticed. This is just one of many examples of how spammers manipulate words to beat filtering. The biggest problem is when spammers "spoof" the header information in an email so it's nearly impossible to trace who sent the message. I have even seen instances of people receiving spam emails that appear to have come from themselves!

When you try to beat the spammers on this level you quickly find yourself running in circles and sadly realizing this is an ineffective way to guard against every spam email. A friend suggested I try "Boxtrapper" because it had eliminated ALL spam from his inbox. Since I have many email accounts, I decided to try it on my personal address and test its effectiveness. Immediately I could see the difference.

The reason "Boxtrapper" is so effective is because of it's "opt-in" design. Basically, no email can reach you unless the sender has confirmed they are legitimate. Once they have been confirmed, their email address is added to a "whitelist". I'm sure you've heard the term "blacklist", which is used to filter out names. In this case a whitelist is maintained to show who is allowed to email you.

To better understand how "Boxtrapper" works, I will explain what happens when a legitimate email from a friend comes your way. First, when a friend sends you an email, he will automatically receive an email reply (known as an "auto response"). This email will tell him to simply hit his "Reply" button and resend in order to be added to your list of accepted senders. You can fully customize the auto response message so it reads exactly how you prefer.

For example, this is how my auto response reads:

------------------------------------------------------------

Hello,

Since I get way too much spam, I have enabled a feature on my email account which requires verification that you are the real sender.

To complete this verification, simply reply to this message and leave the subject line intact.

Once you are added to my "whitelist" of accepted senders I will receive your message and you will not have to complete another verification.

--------------------------------------------------------------

You can also enter the email addresses of all your friends, family, and business contacts ahead of time so they never receive the initial auto response. If you subscribe to newsletters or receive monthly statements from your bank you can add their return addresses into your whitelist so you never miss a message. If anyone else happens to email you, all they have to do is reply to the auto response and they are added to your whitelist. At any given time you are able to view a list of emails awaiting verification (known as a "queue"). You can manually allow emails through to your Inbox or wait until they are verified.

Now the big question what happens to all the spam? Since spammers are not going to verify they received your auto response, all spam email will be caught in your queue of emails awaiting verification and never proceed to your inbox. This means the only emails you are going to receive are those by approved senders. You will soon find that most emails awaiting verification are unsolicited, junk emails.

Since enabling "Boxtrapper" on one of my personal email addresses it has completely eliminated all incoming spam.

I know many who use this feature and they are extremely pleased with not having to waste time sorting through and deleting unsolicited emails. While most spam filters use complex formulas to find out if an email is garbage, "Boxtrapper" is able to quickly determine if the sender is real. So, how can you start making this feature work for you?

Because "Boxtrapper" is not sold in stores or a program you can readily download and install on your computer, it's one of the best kept secrets on the web. This feature is normally bundled with other email services provided by either your Internet Service Provider (ISP) or website host (most likely, the latter). By the way, I don't have any stock in "Boxtrapper". For some reason, they never sent me an email asking me to invest.


Copyright 2005 Anthony Vita

Anthony Vita started his own successful web hosting business, Web Feat, Inc, in 1997. Since then, Anthony has been helping businesses and individuals worldwide to achieve an online presence. Contact Anthony today by email: avita@webfeathost.com or the web: http://www.webfeathost.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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Spammer Stole My Email Address?

Published Thursday 11 August 2005

By Bob Rankin

Do you get bounced, or rejected emails sent by someone else, with YOUR email address in the From line? Does it mean your computer was hacked, or a spammer has stolen your email address? Relax... this is the work of a spammer, but it does NOT indicate any security breach on your computer.

Why do spammers use MY email address?

Spammers generally don't like to poke their misshapen little heads out from under the rocks where they live, so they try to divert attention from themselves by making it look like someone else sent that "enlarge your body part" message.

It's trivially easy to spoof the From address in an email. In fact, most email software will allow you to change the From or the Reply-to address to whatever you want. Spammers use high-volume mail merge software that picks a From address at random from their database of addresses, and sometimes even the recipient address is forged.

The reason you get those bounce messages is because the spammers don't really care if some of their emails are sent to addresses that are invalid or defunct. It's all a numbers game to them. Some email servers are smart enough to look in the email headers and easily determine that the person in the From line (in this case, you) didn't really send the message. But others do not, so you get dumped on.

By Bob Rankin

Do you get bounced, or rejected emails sent by someone else, with YOUR email address in the From line? Does it mean your computer was hacked, or a spammer has stolen your email address? Relax... this is the work of a spammer, but it does NOT indicate any security breach on your computer.

Why do spammers use MY email address?

Spammers generally don't like to poke their misshapen little heads out from under the rocks where they live, so they try to divert attention from themselves by making it look like someone else sent that "enlarge your body part" message.

It's trivially easy to spoof the From address in an email. In fact, most email software will allow you to change the From or the Reply-to address to whatever you want. Spammers use high-volume mail merge software that picks a From address at random from their database of addresses, and sometimes even the recipient address is forged.

The reason you get those bounce messages is because the spammers don't really care if some of their emails are sent to addresses that are invalid or defunct. It's all a numbers game to them. Some email servers are smart enough to look in the email headers and easily determine that the person in the From line (in this case, you) didn't really send the message. But others do not, so you get dumped on.

It's even worse when the spam *is* delivered to a valid address and that person blames YOU. In such a case, you can just explain that it was the work of an Evil Spammer who forged your address. If they give you flack, tell them to examine the Received lines in the email headers (most email programs let you view the headers if you poke around in the options) and they'll see that the source of the message was not your service provider.


This article has been reprinted from: http://www.askbobrankin.com/spammer_using_my_email_address.html

BOB RANKIN ...is a tech writer and computer programmer who enjoys exploring the Internet and sharing the fruit of his experience with others. His work has appeared in ComputerWorld, NetGuide, and NY Newsday. Bob is publisher of the Internet TOURBUS newsletter, author of several computer books, and creator of Lowfat Linux . For more helpful articles and free tech support, visit http://www.AskBobRankin.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/


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