Sunday, October 08, 2006

Immortal E-Mails

If you've been around The Real Key West long enough you know that, every once in a great while, I'll drop in an item that has nothing whatsoever to do with Key West. In such cases, I can't even stretch to establish some tenuous connection to our central purpose. This is one of those posts.

I'm not sure quite how I happened upon this. I was reading another item on the Laura Weinstein blog, about how Microsoft plans to de-activate installations of the forthcoming (and forthcoming, and forthcoming, ...) Vista operating system, the successor to Windows XP if, in its opinion, the copy being run is a pirated copy.

The post about immortal e-mails strikes home to me. I get a few such e-mails, always from someone I know. That's what gives the mail eternal life. Sometimes I enjoy reading what my correspondent has sent, get a chuckle. Sometimes it's the type that warns of some impending disaster, or seeks prayer for some seemingly worthy purpose, or for some other reason. The ones that annoy me most, though, are those he describes as "endless arrays of To: and CC: entries". Do the forwarders not realize that they are exposing dozens or hundreds of e-mail addresses to potential harvesting by spammers? Anyone who gets a copy of that mail can quite easily gather up all of the addresses that show up and add them to huge databases of spam addresses that are sold or traded by spammers around the world.

The Weinstein article is a clear and understandable tutorial on the practice. I hope everyone who sees it takes heed; but I doubt that the clueless will.

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