How Opening an Email Address Can Tell
Spammers You Exist
Did you realize
that simply by opening up an e-mail addresscents by a spammer, the you
can actually be verifying to them that your e-mail address is valid and
is checked by someone?
A common trick
used by spammers is to send an HTML e-mail message. While most people
just think they used images to make their spam more noticeable, often
times it is actually embedded in their in order to find out if the e-mail
message was actually read by someone. And once they know your e-mail address
is read by a human, and not being filtered out by a spam filter or sent
to a dormant e-mail account, you can actually find yourself on the receiving
end of an increased amount of spam.
When you open
up an e-mail that is an HMO format and contains an image, you're a e-mail
program will load the image directly from the spammers server. And many
of these images are coded specifically for you, so they know it was your
e-mail address that viewed it.
Also, when you
open up the e-mail message, you are also revealing your current IP address
to that spammer. Using that information they can find out a lot about
you such as your physical location of the world, and it can also be exploited
to attack your computer.
You will want
to make sure that you are either using an e-mail program that will not
automatically download images (you can request specific images be downloaded)
or is one that isn't capable of displaying them. Likewise, using the preview
pane on one of the Outlook based programs can also display images and
send your personal information, even if you technically do not open them.
You can also install
a spam filter that will prevent many of these even out messages from reaching
you with the first place.