Date:         Wed, 22 Nov 2000 20:59:37 -0500
Sender:       The Internet TourBus - A virtual tour of cyberspace
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Comments:     Originally-From: Patrick Douglas Crispen

From:         Patrick Douglas Crispen 
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             TOURBUS Volume 6, Number 37 -- 23 Nov 2000
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      FIVE YEARS of Searchable Archives at !!
   The Sixth "First Annual TOURBUS Spam" Post
   Yep, we've got addresses.
Howdy, y'all, and greetings once again from the Thanksgiving-ready
city of Tuscaloosa, Alabama, gateway to the Adriatic!  TOURBUS is made
possible by the kind support of our sponsors.  Please visit them and
say thanks!
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  you or to a recipient.  Order now for CHRISTMAS or just because.
  "Holiday gifts", "I love you gifts", "Thinking of you" gifts,
  "Kiss-up gifts", "I apologize gifts" "Stocking fillers" and much
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  BMG Music Service Online, you'll receive 9 additional CD's free.
  Can you say "stocking stuffer"?  Sure you can!  :-)
And now, on with one of TOURBUS' yearly traditions: the completely
revised sixth "First Annual TOURBUS Thanksgiving Spam" post.  :)
Happy Turkey Day, y'all!  For those bus riders not in the United
States, every fourth Thursday in November is Thanksgiving, a holiday
where we celebrate the one day in history that we were nice to the
Native Americans.  We celebrate Thanksgiving by consuming vast
quantities of turkey -- my parents plan to cook a 20 pound bird to
feed our family of four -- followed by the ritualistic watching of
football by the men and the final approval of tactical war plans for
the Christmas shopping season by the women.
It is customary for the turkey growers of America to give the
President of the United States a free, live turkey.  It is also
customary for the President to grant the turkey a Presidential pardon,
placing the turkey in a petting zoo.  This year, while President
Clinton was making up his mind about the pardon and the Republicans in
the House were debating a continuing resolution to override the
President's pardon and to condemn the President for being soft on
poultry -- and while both the Democrats and Republicans were filing
court cases either promoting or opposing the re-weighing of the turkey
-- the turkey died of old age.  :P
Anyway, since today is "turkey day," I think it would be appropriate
to take a few moments to talk about the _REAL_ turkeys of the
Internet: the "spammers."  On the Internet, the word "spam" has two
      1. A canned luncheon meat with the shelf life of gravel; and
      2. Inappropriate email letters, oftentimes advertisements, that
         are sent to hundreds of thousands of people on the Internet.
Sadly, there is no way for you to prevent the former.  But there are a
few tips that will help you at least slow the flow of the latter.
Spam "Wounding"
How on earth do spammers get your email address in the first place?
Well, according to the Email Abuse FAQ, they get your address by
      1. Running programs that collect email addresses out of Usenet
         [network news] posting headers
      2. Culling them from subscriber lists (such as AOL's Member
         Profile list)
      3. Using web-crawling programs that look for mailto: codes in
         HTML documents
      4. Ripping them out of online "white pages" directories
      5. Buying a list [of email addresses] from someone who already
         has one
      6. Taking them from you without your knowledge when you visit
         their web site.
      7. Using finger on a host computer to find online users
      8. Collecting member names from online "chat rooms."
Obviously, anything you can do to hide your email address from
spammers will greatly diminish the amount of new spam you will receive
in the future.  One of the easiest ways for you to do this is to
"mung" your email address.  While it sounds like a character from
Flash Gordon, "Mung" is actually an acronym that means "mash until no
good."  You can find step-by-step instructions on how to mung your
email address at .
Last year, the folks at CNET wrote a wonderful guide on how to hide
your email address from spammers.  I'll give you the address for
CNET's complete guide in a moment, but there are three sections of
CNET's guide I'd like to mention first.
"Hide your address: newsgroups" is a page that tells you how to hide
your email address in your Usenet postings.  CNET recommends munging
your address, using a free email account from Hotmail or Rocketmail,
or even using a fake email address in your posts.
If truth be told, I don't do any of these.  BUT, when I visit a Web
site that asks me to key in my email address, I almost always key in a
fake address.  I used to key in something like, but a few
alert TOURBUS riders recently informed me that there are three better
addresses I could use:
You can replace the word "anyword" with any word at all.  The folks
at the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) recently reserved
these second level domain names for experimentation and testing.
There are two benefits to this:
      1. Web programmers and technical writers can use example domain
         addresses in their work without the fear of pointing their
         audience to a real, working address; and
      2. People like you and me can use the example domain addresses
         when nosy Web sites ask us to key in our email addresses or
         Web page addresses.
Ain't technology grand?  :)
To read CNET's "Hide your address: newsgroups" page, point your Web
browser to .
Another way spammers farm email addresses is from the subscription
lists of popular email distributions lists.  You don't have to worry
about that happening on TOURBUS -- Bob and I set up TOURBUS in such
a way that NO ONE can access our subscription list (I don't even think
that *WE* can access it), and we both hate spam so much we would never
think of violating your trust by sharing your email address with
anyone else -- but not all email lists are as honorable.  To find out
how to hide your email address on L-Soft LISTSERV, Listproc, and
Majordomo lists, visit CNET's "Hide your address: mailing lists" page
at .
Finally, to find out how to hide your email address from online white
pages sites like Bigfoot and Four11, visit CNET's "Hide your address:
directories" page at .
That should slow the flow of new spam into your email inbox.  Now,
let's try to get your current flow of spam under control.
Filtering Spam
The BEST way to deal with spam is to have your email program detect it
and send it to your trash can before you even see it.  This is called
"filtering," and most good email programs will automatically do this
for you.  CNET has a list of four wonderful filters you can add to
your email program at 
Unfortunately, CNET doesn't really tell you HOW to add these filters
to your 1email program.  That's where comes in.  If you
point your Web browser to 
you'll find instructions on how to add filters to Eudora, Netscape
Mail, Outlook Express, Pegasus Mail, and ProcMail.
Can you add these filters to AOL mail?  Unfortunately, probably not.
Until very recently (AOL 6), AOL's mail program has been rather weak,
and it only allowed you to filter out specific email addresses.  I
think AOL 6's email program solves this problem, but I'm not sure.
What NOT to Do
The worst thing you can do with a spam is respond to it.  If you
respond, one of two things will happen:
      1. The message will bounce because the spammer used a fake
         return address; or
      2. The spammer will know that not only do you read your email,
         you also take the time to respond.  This information is GOLD
         to a spammer.  Spammers will actually use your "remove me"
         message as a way to harvest your email address and then they
         will sell your address to other spammers.
I can't emphasize this enough: DON'T REPLY TO A SPAM!  You open
yourself to a world of hurt if you do.  The same is true with those
"removal sites" that promise to remove your email address from the
spammers' lists.  Think about it -- in order for you to be removed
from the lists, the removal site has to SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO A
BUNCH OF SPAMMERS!  Do you REALLY want to do this?
The Spam Bible
There is a point where you will stop wanting to just delete spam and
start wanting to combat the spammers themselves.  If ever get to that
point, I strongly recommend that you read the alt.spam FAQ at .
The alt.spam FAQ is a highly technical, spam-killing bible, telling
you how to decipher where a spam came from and how to find and
complain to the appropriate network administrators.
[By the way, I think you can find a monospace version of the FAQ at ]
Finally, the CNET URL
Oh, and before I forget, you can find CNET's "Can Anyone Stop Spam?"
guide on the Web at .
Words cannot describe how highly I recommend this guide.  It should be
a must-read for anyone even thinking about venturing into the world of
Another good, albeit technical, resource is the Email Abuse FAQ at .
That list of the 8 ways spammers collect email addresses I used a
little while ago came from the Email Abuse FAQ.
That's it for today!  Have a safe and happy Turkey Day, and we'll talk
again next week.  :)
   The Sixth "First Annual TOURBUS Spam" Post
   Yep, we've got addresses.
HUNERD (noun).  A quantity.
NAUFE (noun).  A sharp cutting instrument.
Usage: "This naufe cost me a hunerd bucks"
[Special thanks to Bruce Johnston for today's wurd]
You can find all of the old Southern Words of the day at 
The Internet Tourbus - U.S. Library of Congress ISSN #1094-2239
Copyright © Bob Rankin and Patrick Crispen - All rights reserved
=====================[ Tourbus Rider Information ]===================

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