Spam Spotlight – National Career Fairs

http://lasvegasfoodadventures.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/panko-crusted-spam/

From the blog Las Vegas Food Adventures, which showed that even spam can taste good if you coat it right. (click image for article)

If you’re out looking for a job, be sure you watch for who you give your email address to. Make sure you read the terms of usage AND the privacy policy.

Today, we look at National Career Fairs, a top listing on search engines (depending on which you use). Look what I found in their Privacy Policy:

From time to time, we make the e-mail addresses of those who access our site available to other reputable organizations whose products or services we think you might find interesting.

“From time to time…” means all the time. I realize people need to make money, but trying to bury your intentions is ridiculous. It’s not like they can exclude this detail completely either: If they don’t, you might be able to sue them for not specifying that in the policy.

Ah, but they try to make it alittle less messy:

If you do not want us to share your e-mail address with other companies or organizations, please let us know by calling us at the number provided above, e-mailing us at the above address, writing to us at the above address.

So I have to contact you? Oh really? Why can’t you just not do it in the first place? Or is this how you make money?

So much for looking for a job. Frankly, I use Monster.com, which, as I read in the Privacy Policy, protects your information.

Big deal?

According to my brother studying Network Security, email addresses can sell for about $700 to corporations. Your email address is money. More exactly, it’s money if the email has a name and perhaps an address. Heck, with just your name and real address, you can register for a ton of things on the internet, and things are transitioning to the point where you need only your name (real or fake) and your email address. Up front, profiles with sensitive data are a dime a dozen, but that’s not what they cost behind the scenes!

Getting info the easy way

Want to set up your own spam site? Here’s how it’s usually done: (Hint, hint! You should read this to see what to look out for with spam sites!)

1) Buy a website template (unless you’re good enough to make a site of your own) to make you look professional. The more unique it is, the better your chances of successful false advertising (that sounds like an oxymoron, lol).

2) Set up important categories on the website. You’re a writer aren’t you? Make up a bunch of jazz about a specific product or service people want. You could pay someone else to do it but who wants to spend money on that? It’s important to make it look like the product or service is within reach but people need to jump through at least one loop to get to it.

3) Set up a registration form. This is the most important step in the whole operation. You want to make sure this form saves email addresses. If you’re concerned about other spam bots (those that will fill in your form with crap data), use captcha or something simple. It both gives the impression of a legitimate site and keeps lots of bots at bay.

4) Buy a domain. (This is the only part that you can’t walk around as far as purchasing goes – unless you have your own server.) Here, you can host your site.

5) Promote your site. If you’re not serious about the success of your site, write a bot that runs around spamming sites so that your messages will be filtered about by Askimet and land in my spam filter box. MUHAHAHAHA! If you’re serious about it (gosh, that’s weird)… sorry, I’m not sharing my secrets on that. (Hey, give me a break – I need to try them on my own bogus-offers site first!)

Getting info the hard way

Someone with alot of time on their hands could write a bot program that would randomly generate email addresses a send a message to them to see if they existed. The program would have to filter out and delete all of the auto-reply notifications that indicated the email address didn’t exist (and a few legitimate emails might be lost in the process, depending on the keywords filtered out). But no – It’s easier to hope people fall into a trapdoor rather than making a really huge, thin web.

Conclusion

Spam is called such because no one really liked the meat the term was associated with in the first place… so they equated it with junk mail. Now, it just means internet trash in general. At least you might be able to make real spam enjoyable, as Las Vegas Food Adventures demonstrates.

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About chronologicaldot

Just a Christ-centered, train-loving, computer geek.
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