Beware Of Spam Withdrawals

Written by Tim Knox

Q: I am so sick of allrepparttar spam that is sent to my business email address. I spend an hour every morning just trying to sort outrepparttar 150467 good email fromrepparttar 150468 bad. I know I could just delete it all, but I'm afraid I'll accidentally delete email that might be important to my business. Short of unplugging my computer, what'srepparttar 150469 best solution for dealing with spam?

A: I feel your pain. I, too, missrepparttar 150470 good old days whenrepparttar 150471 only time you'd spend an hour dealing with spam was trying to pry it out ofrepparttar 150472 can.

Due torepparttar 150473 nature of my business, I get a lot of unwanted email. I've been working onrepparttar 150474 Internet since 1995 and my email address has been publicly exposed for most of that time, so I am a spammer's delight. It is no exaggeration to say that I used to receive more than 400 email messages a day. Out of those 400 messages about 10% were from people I knew, 10% were from people I needed to know, andrepparttar 150475 rest were from people that I would like to track down and field dress with a very dull knife.

Spammers, they are called…repparttar 150476 scourge ofrepparttar 150477 Internet…repparttar 150478 digital kin ofrepparttar 150479 lowly telemarketer and dreaded junk mailer.

After listening to me complain about spam for months, my lead engineer burst into my office a few weeks ago and announced, "I've solved our spam problem! I've installed a spam filter on our server that will prevent spam from getting through."

Great, I thought, now I can find something new to complain about.

I wondered what I would do withrepparttar 150480 extra two hours a day this wonderful spam filter would give me. My joy quickly waned when within a day my email went from 400 to 40. It wasrepparttar 150481 saddest day of my life. Sitting there staring at my empty email box I suddenly felt very alone. At that moment I realized that not only had I come to expectrepparttar 150482 morning deluge of email, but I had come to find comfort in it. The spammers had become my friends. They wanted me to get rich quick and brighten my smile. They wanted to enhance my love life with generic Viagra and give me great deals on miniature cameras, low interest loans, waterfront property, and more. Andrepparttar 150483 sheer number of folks concerned aboutrepparttar 150484 abundance (or lack thereof) of my anatomy was incredibly heart warming.

Andrepparttar 150485 ladies that sent me email were so nice. They were worried that I was lonely and offered to cure my loneliness if only I gave them a credit card number. How sweet is that?

After a few daysrepparttar 150486 withdrawal symptoms ceased and I was happy to be free ofrepparttar 150487 majority ofrepparttar 150488 spam, though to this day I'm afraid that I might be missing out on something grand.

You and I are not alone, Anna. According to a recent study by eMarketer,repparttar 150489 average Internet email user now receives 81 emails a day, and nearly one quarter of them are spam. Spam now makes up more than 40% of all email and costs U.S. companies more than $10 billion annually. Seventy-six billion unsolicited e-mail messages will be delivered in 2003.

So how do spammers get your email address inrepparttar 150490 first place? It's easier than you might think. While some spam comes as a result of online purchases (yes, there are companies that will sell your email address no matter what their privacy policy says), that's just one ofrepparttar 150491 ways spammers get you in their sites.

There Are No Dumb Business Questions, Not!

Written by Tim Knox

Q: I'm curious. What isrepparttar dumbest business question you've ever been asked? -- Norris W.

A: Shame on you, Norris. There is no such thing as a dumb business question. OK, that's not exactly true. There are dumb business questions and I do get quite a few of them. Not through this column, of course. People intelligent enough to actually use a computer and surfrepparttar 150466 World Wide Web would never submit dumb questions now, would they. OK, that's a lie, too. I've gotten a few head-scratchers in response to this column. You know who you are, but don't worry, your secret is safe with me.

I have a confession to make. Writing an advice column, whether it be advice for love or money or business, is often hard to do with a straight face. Occasionally a question comes overrepparttar 150467 digital transom that just makes me go, "Huh?"

It's kind of like trying to stifle a giggle when Grandma breaks wind at Sunday dinner. Some things are just better left ignored.

Of course it's hard to blame a dumb business question onrepparttar 150468 dog.

I've been writing advice columns for a long time. Most ofrepparttar 150469 requests for advice I receive are sincere and intelligent, and as a (usually) sincere and (somewhat) intelligent columnist, I feel obligated to dispenserepparttar 150470 best advice I can forrepparttar 150471 betterment ofrepparttar 150472 person who askedrepparttar 150473 question.

However, once in a while a real stinker hitsrepparttar 150474 old email box and it takes everything I've got to resist shooting back an answer that is worthy ofrepparttar 150475 question asked.

In other words, when I get a dumb question, my gut reaction is to respond with an answer of equal intelligence, orrepparttar 150476 lack thereof. Something subtle, like, "Forget business, my friend. The best thing you can do for mankind is to go find a pair of sharp scissors and run… really fast…"

Stupid is as stupid does, Forrest. Greater words of wisdom have rarely been offered before or since.

Then I remember that as an advice columnist I have a duty to my reader, my editor, my publisher, and above all, to my family, who enjoys eating on a regular basis. There aren't too many openings for smart aleck writers anymore (darn that Dave Berry), so I bite my tongue and respond torepparttar 150477 question as intelligently as I can. That usually involves requesting more information fromrepparttar 150478 reader so I can offer an informed answer. It's not as satisfying as firing off a sarcastic retort, but it is much better onrepparttar 150479 old bank account.

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