Not All News is Non-Spam News

Spam is perhaps the biggest problem being faced by internet users all over the world.  It has surpassed the amount of genuine email received per day by far, accounting for more than 80% of what makes up your inbox.  The evolution of spam has made it more difficult to detect and filter. At this point, totally preventing it seems impossible.  One of the most common categories of spam plays on human interest and emotion by sending messages on news related events. 

Breaking news: spam all about it

Spammers are now composing their messages on topics that members of the community have expressed interest in.  The emails usually focus on some type of crisis, leading the recipient to believe that they are supporting a worthy cause.  Some of them will take advantage of actual tragedies.  For instance, spammers were quite busy after the devastating strike of Hurricane Katrina.  Many recipients were targeted with email asking them to support the rebuilding process and to aid misplaced victims by making a donation to The Red Cross.  The scam even went as far as providing a link and replicating a fake website to collect the donations.      

Other news related spam plays on the recipient's fear.  One popular spam hoax circulating on the web was the "Carjacking" email.  While the concept originated in Phoenix, it eventually spread to other cities.  The message was a warning from the Phoenix Police Department concerning armed car thieves.  It claimed that the villains operated by sticking a piece of paper onto your back window - when you go to remove it, the villain comes out of hiding and steals the vehicle, among other horrific details.  The warning seems realistic and actually makes a bit of sense.  The truth is this message is nothing but another case of spam, a malicious ploy to flood your inbox with more unsolicited mail. 

Monitoring for the next "breaking" spam news

As we learn to combat the high rate of unsolicited messages, the senders will develop more strategies to make sure we receive them.  They realize that spam is not as efficient without aid of the vulnerable recipient willing to agree and help them pull off a scam.  Those at the top of the spamming chain are constantly able to flood our inbox because they stay on top of current news events.  This increases their chances of success by relating to the recipient on a social level. 

The topics may range from the latest MP3 players, a political crisis or global warming.  As the big presidential election approaches, several are now using the political world as the basis of spam and schemes.  Emails attempting to thieve campaign contributions have already been seen on the web.  Others use environmental news to bait recipients.  In most cases, the spammer will ask you to participate in a survey while submitting personal or financial information. 

News related spam is perhaps the most deceptive of them all.  Regardless of how it comes at you, acting on any unsolicited email is a path that could make you the next victim of identity theft or worse. 

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Spyware has many ways of getting onto your computer, such as:

When you download programs - particularly freeware, or peer-to-peer sharing programs.

More covertly, spyware can install itself just by you visiting certain sites, by prompting you to download an application to see the site properly.

ActiveX controls. These pesky spyware makers will prompt you to install themselves while using your Internet browser