Friday, February 22, 2008

A Cautionary IT tale

Spam is a pain. A royal nuisance.

And there's a lot that can be done to deal with it.

Some useful. Some... less so.

Despite the vast amount I get, my personal preference is still to deal with it myself. Select a sender or topic column at the end of the day, highlight and hit delete. Usually catches a good 90% in one big net. And the few one-offs you can scope and zap in a blink.

Trouble is, some get their knickers in a twist at just one errant email. And because they scream like neutered cats, a load of folk, from government dow... up, a ton of folk like to meddle on our behalf.

Which means beyond my personal setting on my PC, there are additional intercepts prior to anything arriving at Junkk Towers, at the ISP.

Now it seems there are levels of severity that incoming emails can be challenged upon, with all sorts of clever gizmos to spot a Viagra sale or organ extension a mile, or at least 9" away.

Thing is, these keep getting 'upped', I presume because the spammers are getting cleverer at dodging 'em.

And becuase of this, you might find that something you wouldn't have minded seeing, or even expected, gets whacked before arrival... and you won't know it. Serious if it is a person to person email, but eqaully a pain - all round - if it is a newsletter you have signed up for (like the forthcoming effort..... don't ask).

I only became aware of this because I realised I was no longer getting the BBC daily... after several weeks!!! No comment on its value, becuase it is of great value... at least to stimulate a line of enquiry.

So I checked, and yes, it was now dormant becuase it was bouncing. So I asked my ISP and no, I couldn't see what was being bounced (and had been without me being asked or even told), but I could request a white list exemption. BBC now back in the fold.

Not very satisfactory, and a bit of a worry. And now I am trying to figure out what else I might not be getting (it's a bit like proving a negative) to get them approved, too.

So.. bear it in mind. And any who have signed up for the newsletter... when it comes... soon... please ensure every mechanism to deafult stop it has been forwarned not to!

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