High spam count?

R. DINAKARAN | Updated on February 13, 2011 Published on February 13, 2011

Email forwards - Illustration by Raja   -  Business Line

Online shopping - Illustration by Raja

When you get email forwards, you also get a list of all the other recipients, together with their email address. If you are fond of spamming, you can harvest hundreds of email addresses in this way every single day!

The wrongdoers here are the senders. Not only do they not bother to delete the list of recipients already visible in the received mail, they also worsen it by leaving their own list of recipients (including the self address) visible when forwarding the mail onward. This is both stupid and dangerous.

Your email address as well as those of others in the list are now exposed to the spammers. That's how “Mr X of Nigeria, who has reserved billions of dollars exclusively for you” or the “cousin of Mr Y, who also desperately wants to give you a few millions” might have got your email address.

Your email address also goes to the enterprising guys who seek your “cooperation in checking your bank details” by directing you to a phishing site.

The basic rule here is to ignore all emails from banks, as also the “Income Tax Department of India” which suddenly discovers it has lakhs of rupees waiting to be refunded to you. If you are gullible enough to click on the link in the email, you can still escape by taking a good look at the URL bar. Always remember that no bank asks for your password or ATM pin. Whenever you want to log in to your bank Web site, always open a separate browser window and close it after you log off.

And you can also help reduce spam and the attendant dangers. If ever you feel the need to forward an email, delete all details of the previous recipients and insert the address of your recipients in the Bcc column.

Even if you receive an email asking for “B+ blood for a cute little baby” and urging you to “forward the mail to your friends”, don't let your sentiments get the better of you. There is a good chance that the email (or SMS) originated weeks or even months ago, and is still doing the sentimental rounds.

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Published on February 13, 2011
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