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Oracle Tips by Burleson 

Web Stalkers
Chapter 13 - Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam

Safely Peeking at Spam

The presence of HTML inside the body of the message is a normally a dead give away that the message is spam.  Invocations of PHP Hypertext Protocol (PHP) or Active Server Pages (ASP) content can also be clear indicators that the message is spam.  These can invoke malicious script to infect the computer.

The following section provides a closer look at tools that can be used to avoid spam.

Tools to Avoid Spam

There are several ways to reduce the quantity of spam messages received via e-mail.  A good way to accomplish this reduction is to install a filter program or to create personal spam filter software.  There are several types of spam filtering tools and techniques:

  • PC-side spam filters. These spam filters accept updated spam definitions from the web and apply the rules to incoming spam messages.

  • Server-side spam filters. These spam filters run off of the hosting server and stop spam before it hits the inbox.  Some of the more sophisticated tools rely on user-reported spam and update the server definitions to quarantine them.

  • Approval-based spam. Using this technique, all messages are quarantined except those from individuals identified by the user as friends.  The spam bucket should be reviewed periodically and approved e-mail addresses should be added to the list of friends.

  • Manual spam filtering. Tools such as Microsoft Outlook express allow the manual definition of spam filter conditions that can either quarantine or delete the messages.

The following section provides a favorite, cheap and easy manual method of spam filtering.  For example, up to 50% of the spam delivered to the inbox can be eliminated in just a few minutes by quarantining messages with unusual characters, like this e-mail subject line:

ֹ⵵! ũǮƮ

The above text is an excerpt from:

Web Stalkers
Protect yourself from Internet Criminals & Psychopaths
ISBN 0-97-45993-9-5

by Donald K. Burleson, Stephen Andert

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