It followed me home, can I keep it?

Saturday, January 19, 2008

When I was a kid, I had this t-shirt that had a big dinosaur drawn on it. It looked like a little kid had drawn it, and written across the front and sides were the words, "It followed me home, can I keep it?"
It was my favourite shirt and people would stop me all the time to read it and chuckle. I think that's why it was my favourite shirt. I liked the attention.

Well, now I've got a dinosaur following me, and I've tried everything I can to get away from it.

It's spam.

I know lots of people live with this and just write it off as a matter of living in the computer generation, but I really thought I could dodge it.

I technically have 3 emails. One is my 'real' email, that I get the majority of my correspondence on. One is my 'business' email, the one on my business cards and I set it up mainly for JK Soundstudios business, back when I was doing a little more with Jamies business. Then I opened up a yahoo account for all those times you have to submit your email for something halfway important--like opening up an ebay or paypal account. That one, I have no privacy expectations for, I regularly hand it out for this and that reason on the web (nothing frivolous, of course) and it gets loads of spam. Curiously, yahoo does a great job at winnowing out the spam and my trash folder is usually full of it. Once in a blue moon, I empty it just to feel organized.

Somewhere along the line, my 'real' email was leaked. I started getting spam for rolex watches and online pharmacies. Then it progressed to so called personal ad responses (as though I had something posted on a dating site), and then finally to the.....personal enhancement products for my husband.
When it got to the personal ad spam, I decided I'd had enough. We route our email through Jamies website (see sidebar) and that package comes with like, 20 email accounts. So I altered my address slightly, sent out notices to my address book and thought I had licked that problem.

Sigh. Not quite.

About 3 days ago, I was shocked and chagrined to see a spam come through on the new address. Shocked, because, I'd only had it for maybe 2 weeks and I was 99% sure I hadn't given it out anywhere that wasn't absolutely necessary--like my bank. Even more puzzling, was that the same spam was now coming in on my business email, and I am 100% sure I've never given that out, especially not in the last 2 weeks.

So all my finagling was for nothing. I'm still getting that small rush of pleasant surprise when I see Outlook downloading 5 messages....only to plummet to the depths of disgust when 3/5 are spam. And all they are is a single line with a link. As if I'm going to click on the link and go there. What is the point for these cyber-terrorists? Do they actually see some measure of success from this intrusion? Who are the people who click on the link and encourage them to continue? I'd like to whack them as much as the spammers.

But then, the ultimate in privacy cozy little home here on the web. Now, I have to admit, being here on blogger, where anyone and everyone could read what I write should not exactly ensure me of any kind of privacy, I realize this. But what happened after my last posting really caught me by surprise.

As you can read (and hopefully did), my last post was more of a rant against the bank1ing/m0rtgage system. (I put numbers in there in my paltry attempt to dodge the spammers).
Not 10 minutes after I had posted, I checked back on my dashboard and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had a comment that needed moderating. Someone was reading my blog already!
What I was astounded to read however, was not a comment, but an ADVERTISEMENT. Some realt0r in Toronto had 'found' my blog and posted that perhaps I should give her company a call for help with my impending relocation. Which if any actual person had read my post, would have realized that moving to TO would be absolutely NOT the answer I was looking for. This is when I realized the depth that marketing has gotten to.

I'm only imagining how it works, because I didn't even know such systems existed a few weeks ago. So this realt0r has some lackie in her office who's job it is to run searches everymorning---or maybe her computer just does it automatically---perhaps she's subscribed to a service that does this for her, and then spits out a report of all the blog posts that have mentioned something using the key terms of her business. Perhaps she then checks the list and chooses which ones are truly suitable (or perhaps that part again is all automated, considering how innappropriate her contact with me was) and sends out autoresponse comments to all those blogs. Oh, you've got this problem? Well, friend, I have a solution for you. Can you believe this!?!?!?!?

I's inescapable. Unless I just got off the internet entirely. I gave up facebook--

---I could do it, you know.

(sinister chuckle)


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