Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

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PaintedbyRoses
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:03 am

Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:24 am

I'm probably not the only person with this problem so I hope this thread is generally helpful to others. I'm worried that whatever means the spammers used to get my email address is gradually allowing them to gather more and more personal information about me.

I never had a problem with spam on my email until about 6 months ago. I don't know why it started. I have several email addresses that I use for various reasons but one main email that I use for important things like banking, paying bills and credit cards and buying things online. This is the only one where I suddenly began to get 20-50 spam emails every day. They all go into my spam folder automatically. I never click on them, of course, but I do keep a close eye on them and I delete them as quickly as possible.

About 80% of them are sex advertisements which assume I am a man. Some are just various tricks to try to get me to click on them. From the beginning they have frequently used the first part of my email address (before the @) as if it were my name. They would also mention my town but always confusing it with a similarly spelled town on the other side of my state. Then, after a while, they started using my real first name. Now, I have received 3 spam emails in the last few days which use both my first and last name in the title.

I occasionally go to an iffy site which lets you watch movies and TV shows for free (it's the only place where I can watch some foreign movies and TV shows that I like). I didn't have to register or give them any info about me. A lot of ads for games and things pop up, but they seemed harmless. A couple of days ago when I went there a scary-looking page popped-up telling me that I had won a free iPhone courtesy of my Internet Service Provider. The local ISP that I actually use was named. I closed it really fast! Then, the next day I received one of the spam emails with my full name in the title. I hovered over it to see what address it was sent from and part of the address said "telcom."

I'm afraid that someone is going to eventually be able to access my financial information and I don't know what to do. I've tried some free virus scans and they always say that my computer is clean. In the past, I've paid for some highly recommended virus protection but had problems with them slowing my computer to a crawl or being too complicated. I would pay for one again, though, if it would help.

Some of you seem to know a lot about computer problems of this sort so I'm hoping to get some advice on how to fix this problem and protect my computer. Thanks.
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Marlin
Posts: 18
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2017 1:54 am

Re: Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

Postby Marlin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:21 am

It might not be your fault, it could be a company that's been compromised. Check this site, it may even tell you the event. If you are comprised, please change all of your account passwords ASAP.

https://haveibeenpwned.com

Also useful:

https://howsecureismypassword.net
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PaintedbyRoses
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:03 am

Re: Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:47 pm

Thanks so much, Marlin.

It listed five pretty common sites I've visited which had known data breaches and one spambot called Onliner Spambot. I suspect this spambot is the culprit. I'll look it up to see how best to deal with it.

Fortunately, I never reuse passwords and I think they are pretty secure. I'm going to switch all my financial stuff to a brand new email and change the passwords just to be safe, though.
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curious

Re: Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

Postby curious » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:06 am

There are always many known vulnerabilities in online companies.
Spam is to be blunt, inevitable and all you can do about it is look at the behaviour of your email filters and blocks.

Add (and train) a 3rd party filter, even if your email client has one built in.
Delete any accounts you don't use, even if you think you might use them again at sime point in the future... things like shopping sites that had that one thing you wanted. Ask them to remove your personal data.
Delete games and ANY app that uses social media to log into it... in fact... turn off your social media app logging platform altogether.
If you are getting a lot of unwanted 'sex' spam... just go back to the sites you use and make sure that your advertising settings are set to personalised setting. If your preferences are already set to personalised advertising? Search for less sex online [sorry... joke].
People never do, but read privacy policies, and try and avoid websites that auto-check-mark things like newsletters and additional info functions of the site. If you can't avoid using the site, always make sure those things are then unchecked.
When you get spam, and especially if it doesn't get caught by your email filter... block the domain for it, not just the sender.

There are a million things we could do differently online to reduce spam (you'll always get some) but it is more about our behaviour.

Things like online banking should never result in spam, only from your bank. If you get a spam that looks like it is from your bank, they will have an email to forward it to them. This won't open it.
Never bank online without running some kind of VPN (Virtual Personal Network). Don't bank online in the same spot (like a cafe) every week and using the same 'free wifi' or any open wi-fi at all.
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PaintedbyRoses
Posts: 193
Joined: Tue Jan 09, 2018 10:03 am

Re: Help Me Defeat My Spam, Please!

Postby PaintedbyRoses » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:53 pm

Thanks, curious.

I'll do my best to figure those things out and implement them. From what I can tell, though, I think it would be easier just to throw my computers away and become a Luddite. Just kidding. I could never give up the porn. :shock: :wink:
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