A year or so ago, I started getting increasingly frustrated by people asking for info and then never even acknowledging receiving it. I am used that usually people get the info and forget to do it anyway, but I was surprised that it had been done by people I know.
When I am at home, I can't use my default e-mail and I am using one of my other e-mail addresses. I was surfing the Net and ran into something interesting, but did not want to spend time on that at this moment. I sent it to my default e-mail inending to read it while I am in the office. Imagine my surprise when instead of getting it, which did not happen, in the evening I saw them bounced back with a message that they were blocked because this e-mail address was suspected in spamming.
Ouch, so people were sending me e-mails, and I was not getting them, and nobody ever told me about it!!!! I called Bellsouth (my default e-mail), and asked them how could this happen. The first question they asked me was whether I was getting jokes forwarded to me. I was.
Turned out that forwarding anything to people using CC field is an invitation to disaster. The e-mails are snatched and then used by spammers. How? Well, if you send mass spam, you would be caught. So, bastards figured that the best thing is to send them out using fake e-mails. However, this is not so simple, and the easiest way is to use real e-mails. So, they need to be harvested. How you do it? Simple. They would send e-mails to several real addresses, and they would have a joke there, or a chain letter, and they would ask you to immediately send to 8,10, or 20 people. Sure way to get a lot of valid e-mail addresses.
Do you ever delete the tail of e-mail addresses, when you are forwarding the message to your friends?
Then they send mass spam allegedly from these harvested e-mail addresses over and over and there are angry people who report you. Of course, when people were getting Viagra/Cialis/Levitra offers from me, some were reporting me, and I was blacklisted.
Guys who use Yahoo, AOL and the like are not likely to be hurt, as these providers may have filters, or other protection, I do not know. Small guys like us, who are using our own domains and e-mail attached to that domain, do not have all this protection.
At one time I was getting bunch of norices of undelivered messages, that I have never sent. You know, all that MailerDaemon, etc. I could see the subject line, and that's how I know that they were about Viagra and all that stuff. If I was getting 10-12 a day, that were not delivered, imagine how many were delivered from my e-mail address! Bellsouth guys unblocked me but warned that next time I would suffer severe penalties.
This is not innocuous. the may be sending porno using your e-mail, and you may hear a knock on the door and have FBI with handcuffs.
So, what if you send out Holiday cards, or Newsletters by e-mail. Is there a way of doing it safe? Yep, and it is simple. (Even I can do it = even a caveman can do it)
1. Do not get lazy and always delete the tail of names and e-mail addresses and everything else, except for the message. Nobody needs to know that first it was sent by Jane Doe to this group of people, and then sesended by another Jane Doe, and so on.
2. Address the message to yourself. Then in BCC field put all the addresses of people you want to send to. This way nobody will see that this message goes to anybody else.
3. If there is a call for you to send it to 20 other people, or another emergency to get it to the world so that they can have a good laugh, just delete.
You do not your friend to laugh through tears. You do not want to harm them, do you?
Jon Zolsky, your Daytona Beach Connection