Do not Become A Spam Zombie |

When I received my first spam message I assumed it was a mistake. Someone had sent the email to me when they meant to send it to someone who's address was similar. A typo? As spam became more precalent, the initial thought that someone had got my address and was sending ME messages was hard to get rid of. Somewhere out there there was a person sitting behind a desk, sifting through email lists and deciding what spam to send me today.

Spammers, as I have indicated in several previous articles, are not silly people. Doing what they do, on the scale they do it, takes a degree of competency and expertise well above the average internet user. And the truth is that even if all the spammers in the world had a change of conscience tomorrow and laid down their spam-pens, never sending another message, that spam would continue to flow around the world for some time to come.

The problem is zombies. A zombie is a regular internet user who's machine has become infected with a trojan that sets up a SMTP application and sends out spam. There are two basic zombie patterns – the zombie forwards mail sent to them by a spammer, or the zombie comes preprogrammed with a spam message and mailing list. In either case the zombie surfer will usually have no idea that they are sending our spam

Spam zombies are usually created from downloading 'free stuff' from the internet and in particular peer-to-peer software. Spammers also spread the trojans with their spam itself, and some email clients make this easy by activating scripts within messages. In instances where security settings are low the trojans can be picked up by merely visiting the wrong webpage and allowing certain javascript codes to run.

To avoid becoming a zombie:

1. Always scan anything you download from the internet, and only download from trusted sources.

2. Keep your internet security settings high.

3. Ensure your machine has all the latest updates installed at any point.

4. Regularly scan with an anti-virus AND an anti-adware program.

5. Employ a quality spam blocker (Such as SpamWasher, available on my site) to protect yourself against viruses transmitted by spam mail.

There is enough spam in the world as it is without your machine turning into a zombie and adding to the problem.

Source by Rob Dee

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