We all are forced to live with it, brought on by the irresponsible people who have discovered technology. People like Christopher Knight of WorldTouch Networks and his “BULK EMAIL MARKETING” spam most of us receive every day. I’ve received this same email nearly 400 times. What’s even worse is I receive it at my work address too, an address I try to keep as private as possible.

Unfortunately, there isn’t much we can do to combat spam. Many of the “global spam removal” lists are run by spammers themselves, simply as a way to validate your email address. I believe that this is how Mr. Knight was able to get my work address. I, too, have fallen for that sneaky trick.

The best way to combat spam is to set up filters within your e-mail client to automatically delete the spam as soon as it’s received. But, these do not work all the time. So, like many people, I just live with the spam I receive daily and try to educate those around me about the danger of unsolicited email.

The biggest danger we face with spam is the resources it eats up. The millions upon millions of unsolicited emails received daily around the world use up a increasing portion of the Internet’s bandwidth, already a limited resource. The spam-busters, the various loosely-organized groups around the country who combat spam by shutting off spammer’s access to their network providers, simply cause more trouble than it’s worth, sometimes inconveniencing others who have done nothing to have their access interrupted.

Studies have told us that spam does not work as a viable marketing tool. I have never spoken with or heard from anyone who has ever responded to a piece of spam because they were interested in what was being offered. It could be because most of my friends are “net-educated” and realize the danger of encouraging the spammers by responding positively. Which means that most spam is targeted at the ever-growing population of people who don’t understand how email works. As more and more people get online and start using email, the problem promisies to get worse. These new people (called newbies) are fresh bait for the spammers, who will gleefully collect their email addresses and then proceed to spam the whole bunch. An endless cycle.

If left unchecked, spam will continue to waste our bandwidth resources, even as technology advances and promises faster and faster connections. But the problem will curve exponentially as well. In a few years, the people with ultra-fast bandwidth connections to their homes will be targeted by spammers who will not only send unsolicited email, but video clips, audio clips and other bandwidth-intensive files and applications, all unwanted and unasked for. I dread the day when I sit down at my computer to find in my email not only the “BULK EMAIL MARKETING WORKS” spam but short clips of porno movies, pictures, and sound files of Pamela Lee and her husband.

Spam? No thank you. I’ll have chicken.

Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 29, 1998 11:59 PM

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