Everyone knows that one of the biggest problems with the Internet and email is spam. McAfee experts define spam as “unsolicited or undesired bulk electronic messages”, and quite often, spam is dangerous. Some spam contains links to phishing sites or “free” downloads that could lead to spyware and other malicious software piggybacking along with the free application, giving hackers remote access and control of your computer.
Many savvy people employ software like McAfee products
that have filters that send spam directly to junk or trash folders. However, no
software can really help filter out the innocuous but almost always annoying spam
forwarded to us by friends, family and colleagues, because it can’t know what
message we consider not spam from these people in our lives.
It seems nearly everyone has at least one person in their personal network who insists
on constantly forwarding cutesy, dopey, or sappy, and rarely really funny, inspiring,
“awesome”, or interesting spam. Handling this constant stream
of junk email is a monumental waste of time that also clogs up networks and mailboxes.
McAfee has coined a new word to describe this kind of spam forwarded from friends:
Though all are annoying to some degree, fram has many faces. Here are just a few:
Pseudo-inspirational – encouraging you to have a nice day,
week or life with a gooey stories and bad poetry; then instructing to pass it on
to at least 10 people
Jokes & Cartoons – some are funny, most
are not worth the time
Hoaxes – “Ashley
Flores is missing!” (Ah, no…she’s not.)
Visuals – photos and videos of something “awesome”
or “amazing”, generally not worth the effort or time
Politically Inaccurate – nearly always biased and untruthful
rants or accounts of world events that have an extremist unbalanced viewpoint
Chicken Little – fear-mongering with urban legends like “drinking
cold water after eating could lead to a heart attack”
To learn about the McAfee Forward Responsibly campaign, please visit www.mcafee.com/fram.
Just Don’t Fram (Forward Spam)
Currently, there are no hard stats on fram, but one thing is certain: a lot of email
inboxes are filling up with it right now because few of us have the heart to label
this otherwise decent person in our lives as "spammer" and block
all their messages. Asking an individual to drop from their email blast list, doesn’t
seem to work. So what can we do to end the blight of fram without
losing friendships or poisoning relationships?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Take the time to explain to the frammers in your life what fram
is, and that you don’t appreciate receiving it
- Encourage the “frammer” to take the time to personalize email before
they forward it
- Don’t believe every email you read, and try to verify the most outlandish
emails and inform the frammer of their bogus nature, if and when you find them to
- Practice what you preach: Don’t be a frammer. Take a moment.
Take a deep breath. Then hit the delete button. Just don’t forward spam
- Remember, real friends don’t spam friends