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I Hate Spam

Updated on August 15, 2011

Spam In Your Email

When I was growing up spam was meat in a can. You know the one, the disgusting, gelatinous, unidentifiable and smelly substance passed off as food. My mom actually expected me to sit at the table until I finished eating it. I was never really sure what part of the what-ever-kind of animal it was. But I imagined it was the stuff they couldn’t sell any other way. Like the ears, feet and tail.

Spam in your mailbox

But fortunately when it comes to email spam there’s a nifty invention called a spam filter. Once in awhile an unsolicited commercial email will slip through and make its way into my inbox. Like, “kittenforlickin’s” email telling me she recently changed her profile status to single. Or someone with an impossible to pronounce name asking me to open a bank account for a foreign dignitary. I promptly mark these and others like them as spam and am immediately thanked by Yahoo for reporting it as such.

What happens to mail marked Spam?

But what does that mean? What does Yahoo do then? What does any email server do? Do they report it to the company that sent it? I’m pretty sure a company that promises to increase your penis size isn’t going to actually do anything to stop sending unsolicited email. And what happens to the email I accidentally check as spam? I unintentionally did that to my dad’s emails a couple of times. Is he going to spammer’s prison now?

Spam blockers need to be set

Of course I’m being facetious to a degree here. My dad is still safe and sound and living comfortably at home. Spam filters are basically 90% effective as long as you make sure you have it set on your email account settings. And, at least with Yahoo, once I’ve marked a message sent by a particular sender as being spam any subsequent messages from said sender is immediately sent to my spam box. Which is the difference between spam filters and spam blockers.

Filters vs. Blockers

Filters allow the message to be received, but placed in your spam box. Blockers delete the message before you can even see it. Both work through your mail server by inspecting your account for spam messages, but blockers delete the message as well as any viruses at the same time. Which is very important since some spam emails contain malicious viruses that can be catastrophic to your computer. However, I prefer the filter because there have been occasions where an email I really did want to read was mistakenly sent to my spam box. I can usually tell the difference between something mistakenly sent to my spam box and something that's actually spam.

Spam gets advanced, Tuna tastes better

As email spammers get more clever in their approach to get us to read their unsolicited and often ridiculous emails, blockers and filters will undoubtedly become more advanced as well. As for Spam, the magical mystery meat in a can…please stop torturing your children with this stuff. A can of tuna is cheaper and more tasty and you know what it’s made from.

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