Avoid Spam

Irish Hosting Antispam Tools

The following are a few of the more common methods that spammers use to acquire email addresses:           

  • Address harvesting bots which are similar to search engine robots, only they scan web pages looking for text with '@' in the middle and a top-level domain at the end.
  •           
  • Addresses can be gathered from web forums, chat rooms, blog sites, Usenet etc.
  •           
  • Spammers attempt to acquire mailing lists directly from mail servers.
  •           
  • Addresses can be guessed i.e. a spammer may target the domain of a large organization, justice.ie for instance and use a mailing program to prefix and send a variation of names in the hope that a percentage of these will prove to be correct addresses.
  •           
  • From White & Yellow pages - online directories that contain email details.
  •           
  • Social engineering - online chain letters are used to harvest email addresses.
  •           
  • Spammers and legitimate companies sell mail lists to other entities.
Worm Viruses & Spam Zombies

Spammers attempt to send their emails from other peoples computers (zombies). The owner is not aware that this is occurring. It is estimated that 26% of computers connected to the Internet in the EU are infected in this way (source- www.ciphertrust.com).              

To build zombie networks, spammers cooperate with virus authors who write worm programs that can send bulk emails. These worm viruses can scan the user's address book, web cache and files for email addresses.

Tips on avoiding spam

The following are a few tips on how to avoid worm infections & spam.           

     
  • Keep your operating system & email program updated and patched.  
  •             
  • Be vary of any suspicious email attachments
  •             
  • Keep your anti-virus software up-to-date & run regular virus scans.
  •             
  • Employ a firewall to protect your PC ports/Internet connections.
  •             
  • Assume that emails from unknown senders are spam/suspicious.
  •             
  • Do not purchase products from a spammer/spam email.
  •             
  • Do not reply to, or click on a link/button in a spam email (if the link says click here to unsubscribe - this is often a trick to ascertain that an email address is live)
  •             
  • Disguise your email address when you use it on the net i.e. myname(at)domain.ie rather than myname@domain.ie
  •             
  • If possible use disposable email addresses (or a secondary address).
  •             
  • When you subscribe to or purchase a service/item online, the website will often have a checkbox asking if it is ok to supply your details to 3rd parties or to send you details of other products, always ensure this checkbox is unchecked.
  •             
  • Do not forward jokes etc to other people (eventually they will end up on an infected PC and any addresses in the email's history will be harvested).
  •           
  • Email chain letters are high risk; do not forward online chain letters. (i.e. send this mail onto 10 people today and €1.00 will be donated to charity).
  • Use the anti-spam software that is provided with your hosting plan.

 

Latest News -