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GENERAL: What are spam and virus emails?
SPAM is the term most commonly used to refer to unsolicited e-mail that floods the Internet with many copies of the same message, in an attempt to force the message on people who would not otherwise choose to receive it. Most SPAM or junk emails, are commercial advertising, often for dubious products, get-rich-quick schemes, or quasi-legal services. SPAM costs the sender very little to send -- most of the costs are paid for by the recipient or the carriers rather than by the sender.

E-mail SPAM targets individual users with direct mail messages. E-mail SPAM lists are often created by scanning Usenet postings, stealing Internet mailing lists, or searching the Web for addresses. (Do not ever put your email address on your website unless it is encrypted!) E-mail SPAM’s typically cost users money out-of-pocket to receive. Many people - anyone with measured phone service - read or receive their mail while the meter is running, so to speak therefore SPAM costs them additional money. On top of that, it costs money for ISPs and online services to transmit SPAM, and these costs are transmitted directly to subscribers.

One particularly nasty variant of e-mail SPAM is sending SPAM to mailing lists (public or private e-mail discussion forums.) Because many mailing lists limit activity to their subscribers, spammers will use automated tools to subscribe to as many mailing lists as possible, so that they can grab the lists of addresses, or use the mailing list as a direct target for their attacks.

As the Internet is public, there is really little that can be done to prevent spam, just as it is impossible to prevent junk mail. We therefore have no control who sends you your email.

Some spam may also contain viruses, so it is important that you are careful when opening emails that contain attachments. We recommend that you don’t open attachements if you don’t know the email sender.

Protection against spam and viruses is the client’s responsibility, and as an internet user, you must have sufficient internet security software installed on your computer to filter out and delete these. Internet security software includes, but is not restricted to, antivirus software, antispam software, and firewall software. Also spyware detection and removal software is a requirement these days, as a lot of ’free’ software can install nasty spyware on your computer that can send out information that you have stored on your computer. Please note that no internet security software is 100% effective, so sometimes the odd spam email will still get through. To locate internet security software just, just enter internet security into your Internet search engine. Some of the more popular ones are Nortons, PCCillin, and McAfee.

If you have got a ’catchall’ email address setup, and you are receiving lots of spam, that is sent to email addresses using a random string of characters that it places at the beginning of your domain name, eg kjsionvcgy465x@yourdomainname.co.nz, we then recommend that you delete your catchall email address, and only setup specific email addresses that you use for your email.


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