Are you the Spam – Junkie?

Isn’t the Internet just the perfect thing? You log on to your email account and viola! Your friends, relatives, colleagues, close, semi-close and not even close people are just a ‘send’ away. Even the cute picture of a baby dressed in a pumpkin suit that you absolutely loved can be emailed to all of them. While you’re at it, might as well send them the ‘20 bad-effects of staring at the monitor’, ‘GOD SAVES US’ etc. emails. When it comes to forwarding an email we never seem to run out of reasons. They could be anything from overly spiritual, outright patriotic, aesthetically compelling to socio-economic-politico ones.

Most of us do it occasionally and there are others who don’t stop at that. How do you recognize the fine line between compulsive spammer and the intermittent email sender?

Example one: You support someone who has started his lone-struggle against the mammoth problem of corruption. But your belief isn’t limited to you. You want to pass it on to others. Thus follows an elaborate email, complete with images and write-ups!

Example two: You just came across an article that talks of the bad effects of eating food while standing. This fact without validation has to be shared with your loved ones and the not-so-loved ones too, for the love of all fellow human beings!

Example three: You receive an email about a deity whose blessings will grant you three miraculous boons that will only take effect after you resend it to 35 people. These mails also come with the spiritual warning of the deity ready to strike you with a thunderbolt in case you send it to less than 35 or commit the blasphemous act of deleting the email!

Example four: A little kid suffering from an incurable disease needs money for treatment. For every 10 people that you send the email to, the kid gets $1.

If you have been forwarding such emails and strongly believe in moments where soppy and “Oh! So cute!” takes over intelligence then you are the epitome of an email junkie aka compulsive spammer!

A close look at such emails and one will find them to be rationale-defying. Ask yourself, how will a kid in some remote part of the world be benefitted by your emailing 10 different people? Is there a credible source behind the email? How will the money be donated? Is the deity that you believe in or your faith so fragile that it needs to be email validated?

Spam is a waste of time, clutters inboxes and is often quite annoying. A spam junkie loses his or her reputation effectively managing to go down the good books of people. However, we all have our indulgences and if you indeed must send a message to multiple recipients take care that:

  • You have your personal message typed out explaining the reason behind your action.
  • You trace the source of the original message, verify the facts stated. Do not send messages that contain terms like ‘virus’ or ‘hoax’ etc.
  • Wait sometime before you click the ‘forward’ button and as much as possible, avoid making it a habit.
  • You remove all the other addresses, signatures and advertising from the email. If you are sending it to multiple recipients use the BCC (blind carbon copy) field option. This way you will prevent others from continuing with the chain of spam! Remember to remove ‘FW:’ from the subject line.

If you are on the receiving end then you need to understand that dealing with an email junkie requires art and a few strike-home straightforward words. If you need to get the spammer off your back, you can:

  • Try to reason with the spammer. Explain how annoying and an extremely futile activity spamming is.
  • Ask the spammer to personalize the emails. Always verify the emails.
  • Send an email requesting the spammer to tick you off the e-blast list.
  • Curb the urge to spam. You yourself should always do the things you advise other people to do.

For more concrete results have effective email security software installed. Best internet security software like Quick Heal help in stopping spam from reaching your inbox. But personal attitude and awareness goes a long way towards preventing spam. One should always act responsibly while forwarding emails.

Sanjay Katkar

Sanjay Katkar

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