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Various Spamming Methods and How to Protect Yourself

Once reserved just for e-mail, there are now a variety of ways in which spammers are targeting the unsuspecting public. While much spam can be written off as an annoying marketing attempt, there are some spam messages that are dangerous to you and your computer. Spam is now being used as a vehicle to spread Trojan horses, viruses, worms, and other unwanted spyware and malware. Many of these dangerous programs are sent with the intent to steal your identity or your financial information.

In May 2007, the world’s most egregious spammer, Robert Alan Soloway, was charged with 35 criminal violations including wire fraud, e-mail fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and identity theft. He had employed thousands of zombie computers – those he had created a “back door” into in order to use the users’ addresses as the originators of his spam – to bombard Internet users with e-mail spam in 2003. This is the first documented case of identity theft laws being used to prosecute a spammer for hijacking someone else’s Internet domain.

In this case, the use of a technologically advanced anti-spyware and anti-spam software program could have protected many of these users’ computers, preventing them from becoming victims at all. Anti Spam products would have been able to detect harmful e-mail messages, viruses, worms, Trojan horses, and other unwanted or dangerous software and eliminate them before they ever had a chance to invade the user’s computer.

Aside from hijacking domains and bombarding users with unwanted e-mail, spammers have begun to invade other aspects of our lives.

Spamdexing

This refers to the use of spam to modify HTML pages in order to increase their relevancy on search engine lists. Luckily, modern search engines have recognized the weaknesses in their systems that allowed spamdexing and have taken steps to prevent it.

Spam on Video Sharing Sites

Sites such as YouTube are not only highly popular with the general public, but they are now being targeted by spammers as well. The most common method is to post links to web sites in the comments section of random profiles or videos. Most of these links lead to pornographic or online dating sites.

YouTube has tried to combat the problem by banning the posting of links on their web site, but spammers have managed to circumvent the security measures by replacing any dots in the web site address, i.e. www.yourwebsite.com, with the word “dot.” It would then read, “wwwdotyourwebsitedotcom.” This allows the spam link to bypass the filters YouTube has in place.
Another problem YouTube had encountered was numerous, repetitive postings in the comments sections of various videos or profiles. They now utilize CAPTCHA technology to quickly detect repetitive messages, making it more difficult for spammers to bombard comments with repeated comments.

Spam in Online Game Messaging

Nearly all online games allow player to player messaging or offer player chat rooms or message boards. Many spammers will post repetitive or annoying messages in these areas until they are kicked out of the game by the administrator or monitor.

In most cases, spam can be avoided by employing the use of a high quality anti-spyware product such as ParetoLogic’s Spam Controls & PC tools Spam Monitor 3.0. Rather than taking chances with unwanted messages flooding your inbox, or rather than risk infection of your computer by a virus or worm, use Spam Controls to automatically scan your incoming messages and quarantine spam where you do not have to be bothered by it. Also rest easy knowing your anti-spam software is protecting you and your computer from phishing scams, Trojans, viruses, worms, and a variety of other forms of malware. You receive peace of mind while your computer is protected by the most technologically advanced product on the market today.