A Lot of Spam


A Lot of Spam

Spam, the bane of email. Automatically sent, clogging in boxes and spam filters interglactically. It’s horrible; it’s devastating: it’s worse than bad personal hygiene. OK, we hate it. But, why do we hate it so much that we are willing to miss important messages, some personal, just to rid ourselves of the blight?

I don’t get it. When we receive advertising in the mail we don’t drop to the post office floor and start beating our fists on the tile. We simply take the items we don’t want and dump them in the trash. Why can’t we do that with spam?

I guess I understand that if you are a private individual and want to “protect’ yourself from spammers, you can set up something akin to the great wall of China that one has to navigate to get your message delivered. Fine, that’s your business.

However, if you are a company wanting to sell your product or service to others, why would you want to make that more difficult? It makes no sense whatsoever.

I got a message this AM from someone who wanted me to send them some information. I did so. Two seconds later I got a message from them subtly accusing me of being a spammer and “if I wasn’t” I should follow the instructions. Now in this case they weren’t too difficult, but frankly I was put out having to do it at all.

Sometimes you have to decipher weird letters that often are not possible to understand and fill in blanks with these characters. They often you have to wait days for the message to find its way through, in this case Earthlink’s maze, to the person you are trying to reach.

I have a system here at PT that works pretty well. My server (Verizon FIOS) filters out about 250 spam messages a day. I can, if I want, go on line and look at the messages it has removed. To this date I have not found one that was improperly removed.

My second line of defense is Outlook. It checks each message and if it thinks it is spam, it puts it in my “junk mail” file. I get about 30 of these a day, and of those, about 5 are messages I want. I can then tell Outlook not to catch messages from that person again. It takes about 15 seconds to scan the “junk mail” file each day and then permanently remove them.

My correspondents don’t get the third degree, I get my messages and all is right with the world.

(I will note that Verizon gets a bit aggressive and sometimes returns messages that are obviously valid. I can then contact Verizon (by email) and tell them to ratchet it back a bit.)

For those private individuals who require me to “do something human” to get my message through to them, I say “so be it.” Most likely you won’t receive anything from me, even if you have requested it from me. For those of you in business who have made it difficult for me to contact you, I suggest you rethink your email program. Whenever you make it more difficult for someone to contact you, you are losing business. Think about it.


John Van Horn

John Van Horn

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