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  1. #16
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Phil, I can tell you one site that doesn't like Sneakemail, at least - eBay. Some sellers will refuse to deal with you if you have a disposable email address. In those cases I just offer up my Hotmail address, which is set to exclusive since it's a spam-o-rama anyway. I advise them of this before the transaction so that I can add the correct recipients to the safe list, and anything from ebay.com will also go through. I can't recall which site refused my ability to sign up with a Sneakemail address, but I do remember that it wasn't good enough for one of them....so I took my business elsewhere. I have a right to protect my inbox.

    I know I'm not David, but if you delete suspicious messages offline, they won't talk to the mothership. That will only happen with a live connection to the net, and when you are viewing the message. A while back Woody also mentioned the need to disable scripting in HTML mail, which is not the default in most versions of Outlook - I believe OLXP is the only version that does so by default. Those invisigle 1x1 pixel images that David was referring to have been around for a long time on normal web pages - if I'm not mistaken, the term used to refer to them is "web bug". Both Outpost and Zonealarm will defeat web bugs but are vague on just what they mean by that.

    HTH,
    -Mark

  2. #17
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Hi Mark:
    Thanks for all the information.

    I got rid of hotmail after I read Woody's article about how they changed the preferences. It got so all my messages there were spam. I can't recall when, but when I bought some software directly from a manufacturer, they wouldn't let me use a hotmail account. But knowledgeable users who want to fight spam are still a small minority. I can't even get my family to delete the 100s of forwarded names before passing on junk. <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>

    I use Netscape Messenger for mail (an old version...4.75) so I haven't had too many problems. I've disabled "javascripting for news & mail" & never click a suspicous message while online. The only thing I can't do with Messenger that I would really like is color code message subjects & change the subject headings (sometimes it's nice to save messages, but having one that says "...on the other hand" <img src=/S/grin.gif border=0 alt=grin width=15 height=15> isn't too useful.

  3. #18
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    If the message is really suspicious I will preview it in Mailwasher (right click, 'View Complete Header', with 'Display full header and message source' checked). You can read all the html source and see if there are any of these tracking bugs hidden within. So long as the message isn't too long, or composed entirely of image pieces that 'reassemble' into the actual message, you can also get away with reading the message online without triggering any bugs.

    For actual web pages, I have Proxomitron replace any 0x0 through 2x2 graphics with its own transparent gif, killing web bugs while keeping the page formatting intact... but unfortunately this doesn't work with email. <img src=/S/sigh.gif border=0 alt=sigh width=15 height=15>
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #19
    5 Star Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    I've run across some newsletter services that 'refuse' subscriptions to any web-based email accounts, for very well developed reasons. What they wanted was an ISP-provided email address or they wouldn't accept the subscription request. I did find that this may not always be an absolute truth despite what the site says - I managed to subscribe with my web-based myrealbox.com account without any difficulty. I suspect that the main sources for disposable addresses (Yahoo, Hotmail, and other 'mainstream' services) were blacklisted, but not the lesser-known ones.

  5. #20
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Tell us about Proxomitron?
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  6. #21
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Sadly, though, email headers in spam are often forged, and viewing the header information doesn't provide much help. I wonder if an email to the MailWasher folks suggesting this would have any impact? For non-technical users reading the source might be a scary proposition too - and particularly for folks who don't know HTML (or any other code).

    I found Proxomitron to be very intrusive and hard to configure. Agnitum's Outpost firewall does a lot of the legwork for me, but it doesn't seem to mention anywhere whether or not it handles web bugs. I seem to remember that ZoneAlarm 3.x does that. Outpost's filtering excellent but they need to clean up the user interface and explain the functions a bit better.

    Edited to add the following:
    I dug a bit deeper into Agnitum's website and found some useful information for adding specific ad sizes at the following URL: http://www.agnitum.com/forum/showthr...?threadid=3566

    Seems the feature is there....just not easy to find. And most certainly not for the average user who doesn't feel comfortable digging in their software's settings.
    -Mark

  7. #22
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    <hr>Tell us about Proxomitron...<hr>

    A comprehensive application to control pop-up adverts, banners and cookies when visiting web sites. The beta version is probably the best version to get.
    #67, my site. Don't click the Home link.

    Click My Sig

  8. #23
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Ah. I'm happy enough with AdAware and NoAds.
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/Eileen_sig.gif>

  9. #24
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Hi Bruce
    <hr>....I have little or no idea how this software works...<hr>
    Mailwasher, PopCorn and similar are e-mail clients which for the time being replace OE and so on. They read the headers of the messages waiting for you on your POP server(s) and print them out as a list, without actually having downloaded anything to your system. You can then prune the list, consigning to oblivion any that are unwanted or in any way suspicious. You can set the client to ignore messages from known and acceptable sources ('friends') and also to do the opposite.
    Personally, I do not use the 'bounce' - if the sending back is unsuccessful (as it often is) you get a message in your Inbox telling you, thus increasing the clutter. Maybe someone will tell me how they turn it off....
    As far as infections go (as distinct from spam) I'm not sure you need to go through the hassle. Simply set your OE or whatever to use only 'text' messaging (i.e. not HTML - which is where nasties can lurk) and NEVER open an e-mail attachment - Save it to disk and run your VS over it first. Even if the sender is your own mother, still do this : worms can infect people without their knowledge, and this can be passed on inadvertently. I suggest you visit my site, click the Attack and Defence button and read the page.

    Click My Sig

  10. #25
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    OK. Here's a challenge for you guys, because I sure don't understand it. After all this discussion of all the possible avenues of exposure I have to ask.

    I don't get spam.

    I do get some solicited advertising e-mail, but not spam. My public e-mail is through remailer pobox.com, which appears to run some kind of filter/metering system (I get spam rankings) , and my actual ISP has a yahooligans filter which I have never tweaked. I use Outlook at home. I don't hang around chat rooms or porn sites.

    Why don't I get spam?

    (NO, of course I'm not looking to get spam, but based on this thread I'm astonished that I don't.)
    -John ... I float in liquid gardens
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  11. #26
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    John, if I had to guess, I would say that it's because you don't give out your email address willy-nilly to any old website that asks for it. I myself zealously guard my main mailbox so that it doesn't wind up in the hands of bulk mailers. I don't get much myself. In fact, since I changed addresses two years ago, I don't believe it's happened more than a few times. But I do get it at the office, and amazingly did so in the first week. Dictionary spam, this is - our company's domain is in someone's database, and they just hammer away with different variations on email handles. Just goes to show how creative they are since my last name is very uncommon and even people who know me can't spell it right (the hardest five letters in the English language to pronounce, I declare).

    But, sure as nightfall, you're suceptible to it. Since you don't bother with chat rooms and porn sites, you're less at risk - but I think the real reason is probably because you've taken preventive measures from the get-go.
    -Mark

  12. #27
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    If you are offline, you should get the red X instead of the mini-gif. That is a good strategy, as long as Outlook doesn't auto-dial.

  13. #28
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: SpamMotel - best solution yet

    Hi John:
    I'm jealous--no spam. Actually, I get very little spam & I don't go to porn sites or chat rooms. In fact, most of my time online is either reading email or here in the Lounge. I get about 2-6/day, which are filtered into my trash. I'm guessing that the stuff I do get is because of freeware/shareware that I've downloaded & probably missing the opt-out box when I go to buy something. I think by using SpamMotel or one of the similar sites, I'm hoping to reduce it even more.

    I've never changed my email address, so I've had it about 4 years. I'd hate to change it & have to redo all my subscriptions, etc. Wish I had your situation, though.

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