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The truth about Email Petitions
Please take note
Just a word to the wise.  Email petitions are NOT acceptable to Congress, your Congress man, City Officials or any other municipality. To be acceptable petitions must have a signed signature and full address. Almost all email that ask you to add your name and forward on to others are similar to that mass letter years ago that asked people to send business cards to the little kid in Florida who wants to break the Guinness Book of Records for the most cards.  All it was and all this email is is to get names and "cookie" tracking info for tele-marketers and spammers to validate active email accounts for their own purposes.  Any time you see an email that says forward this on to "10" of your friends, sign this petition, or you'll get good luck or whatever, has either an email tracker program attached that tracks the cookies and emails of those folks you forward to or the host sender is getting a copy each time it gets forwarded and then is able to get lists of "active" emails to use in spam emails or sell to others that do.

SPAM

Short guide to preventing unwanted emails  =====================================================================

First some simple definitions.

Spam - Unsolicited email

Spammer - Sender of unsolicited email

Spam is every bit as unwelcome as circulars in your post box or telemarketers who call at meal times. Fortunately there are ways to decrease or eliminate the amount of spam you receive in your daily email.

Why is spam bad?

1. Theft of resources - The amount of time it takes to filter out unwanted email from legitimate email stops you doing other productive things.

2. The receiver pays - You pay for receiving spam, through your online charges and time.

3. You never asked for it - it is an invasion of your privacy. 4. It's garbage. 5. The offerings are most probably fraudulent or illegal.


Tips

The following are straight forward tips to help you overcome or prevent spam and viruses in your email.

1. Be private. Do not give out your email address in the first place. In many instances if you are required to give your email address in order to receive something off a website, give an email address that you have set up specifically to receive junk.

2. You can also set up a fake email address at such places as www.hotmail.com or www.yahoo.com , these email accounts are free.

3. Look for options to opt out of receiving promotional mailings when you have to give your address.

4. Treat every email you preview as being of a suspicious nature, many harmless looking emails with attachments may contain viruses. Many people succumbed to the "I love you" email that contained a virus.

5. When you receive a forwarded email asking for help or money from someone, and in return you will have eternal good luck (or bad luck if you don't forward it). Do not forward it on, it is likely to be a hoax and is a great way for spammers to cultivate email addresses. Many virus warning emails are a hoax as well.

6. When forwarding emails to groups of people, send them via the BCC field, this shields their address from others. Ask others to send emails to you this way too.

7. Use the filters function to filter out unwanted emails that do, or do not meet certain criteria - further info on how to use the filters properly is below.

8. Keep your name off mailing lists, chat rooms and newsgroups by not giving out your correct address in the first place.

9. If your email address is on a website, ask your web designer to transform it in to a picture. Otherwise it is very easy for automated 'robots' to come and cultivate your email address and put it on to a mailing list. But if it is displayed as a picture then it won't be recognizable as an email address to the 'robot'.

10. Many spam messages have instructions at the bottom of the message asking you to reply to the message if you want to be removed from their mailing list. Don't do this, as it will only confirm that your address is valid and active and you will most likely be hit with more spam.

11. Check the email address of the sender - do you recognize it? If not, then delete it.

12. Watch out for fake headers. These are in the subject line and are commonly - 'Dear Friend.....' or 'Here's the information you requested.'

13. Never buy anything from a spammer's email, even if it is something you want as it is likely to be fraudulent.

14. You can complain to the spammers internet service provider by sending an email to abuse@[The domain in particular] or postmaster@[The domain in particular].

15. Don't reply to contests in your email, offers of free websites or send money to anti-spam organizations as it will most likely be a hoax.

16. Don't submit your address to Opt-out or removal lists as these are a hoax and you will end up getting more spam.

17. It is still advisable to have antivirus software installed on your computer. While you may be able to recognize an email with a strange attachment, a picture or word document may harbor a virus.

18. Finally, one option that will get rid of the spam (for a while) is to change your email address. It may take some time to notify others of your new address, but at least you will not get spam.