Spam - Its Whats For Breakfast

The first thing I do every morning when I wake up is head for my computer. It holds the secrets to my day. I read my e-mails from several accounts, check my schedule on my Outlook calendar and even find out how much money I can spend that day from my bank's Web site. I'd be lost without my computer.

However, I have one huge frustration - privacy invasion. In the last three months alone I have had the privacy of my personal computer invaded in so many ways I am starting to feel like it is public property instead of my own property.

My home page has been changed without my consent. My search engine was set for Internet Explorer and was changed to some search engine I never knew existed. Hidden programs have infiltrated my computer and set it to randomly open windows to casino ads and porn sites.

My e-mail is constantly bombarded with ads from companies that claim I have "opted" into their e-mail list. As if I would waste my time asking someone to send me e-mails that are deleted as fast as they are received. Can I have a little orange juice with that spam at 6:30 in the morning?

Since I have my own server, one of my e-mail addresses is not related to any of the big name e-mail sites like Yahoo, Hotmail or America Online. But those nasty little computer geeks have even invaded that part of my privacy by using my server to send out e-mail ads. They get tons of money from the dupes who actually buy into their money-making schemes, and I get to have my account flooded by all of the undeliverable e-mail. Isn't that just peachy?

My biggest frustration comes from the pop-up messages I receive when connected to the Internet. A friend of mine explained the technical aspects of this phenomenon to me, but I don't care about how it happens. All I care about is that it does happen. I get pop-ups about all kinds of stuff. I have received several pop-ups inviting me to learn how to enlarge my penis. Last time I checked, I didn't even have a penis.

I even get pop-ups telling me how to not get pop-ups. Now that is frustration to the nth degree. If I could, I'd reach through the lines that connect me to those privacy thieves and pour my orange juice all over their geeky little heads. But alas, I have no such super powers.

Is it really necessary to feel victimized in your own home at your own computer? Luckily I know someone who helped restore my computer to its original state, but that doesn't stop the spamming or the pop-ups and it doesn't protect me from future invasion.

Each state has its own anti-spam laws to protect people from this type of privacy invasion. Illinois passed its first law in 1999. In California, outgoing Gov. Gray Davis recently signed a bill that made a tough stand on spamming with fines from $1,000 per e-mail and up to $1 million per mass-mailing incident. However, the truth of the matter is it is very hard to catch and prosecute these privacy thieves.

How about a do-not-call list for computers? As a matter of fact, the U.S. Senate passed legislation last week that would increase penalties for spammers on a national level and would start a do-not-spam list. Anyone have a pen handy?

Although spamming is only one of the many invasions of privacy on my computer and although this new legislation has been too long in coming, I have to admit I'm quite relieved to see help is on the way. Until then, I will try to go about my daily routine without allowing those privacy thieves to get me too frustrated.

However, I do not intend to share my OJ or my toast with them - unless they like OJ as shampoo.

About the Author: Stella Ramsaroop is a western world traveler, a life-long student, a wanna-be stargazer, and an Aquarius in all its forms (if you know what that means). Her articles emphasize the importance of the continued development and protection of gender equality in all aspects of a woman's life.

Visit Stella's Website at http://www.newsparade.com to read her current articles and to contribute your thoughts.

In The News:

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Block annoying robocallers with Call Control Premium for just $20  Android CentralAndroid Central Digital Offers has a great deal on this call blocking *service* that frees you from being hassled by robocallers.
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The Beginning of the End of Robocalls  New York MagazineBy the end of 2019, spam phone calls could be on the ropes.
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How to better protect yourself from robocalls on your iPhone  MacworldThe solution requires a lot more technology on the backend, but you can make inroads.
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Don't pick up: how to stop these annoying robocalls for good  USA TODAYRobocalls are constant and they're costing phone owners money. Here's how to identify and stop them.
Relief From Spoofed Robocalls Is on the Way  ConsumerReports.orgThe telecom industry says that new technology to manage spoofed robocalls may start rolling out in the coming year. Consumer Reports tells you what you need ...
'It's an arms race': Inside the war on robocalls  Yahoo FinanceWhat will finally stop unwanted spam calls? It's a hard-fought battle but a change called STIR/SHAKER is coming. Here's what's going on and when.
Spam calls: How Google is fighting robocalls on Android.  SlateThe problem of robocalling is getting worse. In April, robocall-blocking *service* YouMail estimated 3.4 billion such calls were made—900 million more that month ...
If someone named 'Scam Likely' is calling you, don't pick up  USA TODAYThe four major wireless carriers are trying out new ways to combat the rising epidemic of spam callers.
Stop the Robocalls: Tips to Hang up on Them for Good  WQAD MolineRobocalls happen day or night, ringing our cellphones, our landlines and are often nothing but a big waste of our time. Billions of robocalls happen each year If ...
As FCC Steps In, Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, May Get Boost To Stop Robocalls  ForbesThe Federal Communication Commission wants the telecom industry to step up attacks on robocallers, providing another tool for consumers.
Gmail now blocks an extra 100 million spam messages every day  SoftonicGoogle is winning the battle against spam 100 million emails at a time.
The Android phone app has pre-call blocking at last  SlashGearThe official Google Phone app has an update in the pipeline that'll bring far better call blocking features than Android's ever had before. This is the first.
[Update: Contacts] Long-awaited robust call blocking features may soon come to Google Phone app  Android PoliceYour smartphone already lets you block annoying callers so that you never have to deal with them again, but what if it could be proactive? Android could soon ...
All Verizon Subscribers Will Get Free Spam And Robocall Protection  UbergizmoVerizon, the country's largest mobile carrier, has announced that it's going to provide all of its subscribers with free span and robocall protection for free.
Phone companies are promising major leaps forward in spam call blocking technology  Cleveland 19 NewsBoth AT&T and Verizon set to roll out anti-robocall efforts, with AT&T announcing a partnership with Comcast to develop a call authentication *service* and ...
New Apple patent suggests iPhones could warn against spam calls one day  The VergeA new Apple patent could finally give iPhone owners some relief from spam calls by automatically recognizing a fake call and warning users accordingly.
7 paid apps you can download for free on April 17th  BGRUntil Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint get their act together, there's not much we can do about spam calls and texts. But if you want to try to solve the problem ...
John Oliver Tackles Robocalls by Flooding FCC With Spam Calls  PCMagThe host of HBO's Last Week Tonight has come up with a new way to encourage FCC commissioners to take a harder stance on robocalls: by robocalling them.
8 Best Android Call Blocker App List For 2018 | Filter Spam Calls  FossbytesMany third-party apps can shield your device from unwanted calls and also help you to recognize the unknown numbers. We have made the best Android call ...
News Protecting your privacy: How to block robocalls Matthew Smith 7:31 AM, Jan 28, 2019  WXYZDETROIT (WXYZ) — If you're tired of spam phone calls, robocalls and telemarketers, there's bad news for 2019: experts expect even more robocalls in 2019.
iOS 12 includes support for reporting unwanted texts & calls as spam  9to5MaciOS 12 includes a notable update for handling spam messages and calls. As outlined on its developer webpage, app makers can now create an app extension ...
A how-to guide to stop robocall spammers and exact revenge  The Mercury NewsBy Geoffrey A. Fowler | The Washington Post. “Call me, maybe?” is on the brink of becoming “Call me, never.” Robocalls, those computer-generated shysters, ...
Verizon says they plan to block 'robocalls'  Fox 35 OrlandoIf you've been getting more "robocalls," or unsolicited calls on your cellphone, you're not alone.
Government shutdown could mean more robocalls on your cellphone  WPTV.comThe government shut down is trickling further down to the point where it could affect your cellphone.
Blocking spam calls with mobile apps - Nation  The Star OnlinePETALING JAYA: From telemarketers offering credit cards and insurance to criminal Macau scam syndicates, Malaysian mobile phone users are being hounded ...
Kim Komando: Effective tips on how to stop those annoying robocalls  South Bend Tribune“Hello! Please don't hang up… did you know that you could save a bundle on…? This is a robocall, another automated telemarketer. Nowadays, robocalls make ...
The Wily Spammers Infiltrating Google Hangouts and Calendar  SlateLeonarda, Dmitriy, Satish, Joana, and Alyce managed to force their way into my Google Hangouts, and I couldn't block them.
Five tips for blocking spam from your inbox  Popular ScienceFree yourself from junk emails! This five-point plan will banish spam to help you declutter your inbox.
How to stop robocalls: Those annoying automated phone calls are about to get worse  CBS NewsOf the robocalls made in August, 1.8 billion of them were scams and next year, some estimates predict half of all mobile calls will be scams.
How to block spam messages on iPhone and Android devices  Gadgets NowLose 10Kgs in 4 weeks,” reads one message and “Hi, we have an exciting offer exclusively, to avail the offer give us missed call on 0099887655,” reads another.
Quickly block spam calls with Castle, the anti-robocall app  KnowTechieSpam callers are getting smarter. No longer is it just 1-800 numbers and random strings of numbers, it is your area code and prefix. Castle could help.
Verizon helping customers fend off robocalls with new app, FCC pushing stronger caller ID  ABC6OnYourSide.comThey are annoying and never ending, but relief is coming to those of us who deal with incessant robocalls. The Federal Communications Commission estimates ...
How to Block SMS Spam on iOS 11  NDTVTired of spam text messages? iOS 11 allows you to block them easily, but you need to install third-party apps for this feature.
License to kill: robocalls. The pressure's on for phone carriers to target spammers  The Boston GlobeFederal authorities are gearing up to require new defenses against unwanted calls.
Nearly half of all phone calls will be spam by 2019, according to new report  Android PoliceSpam calls have become obnoxious as of late for many people - myself included - and it looks like they are only going to get worse. First Orion... by Corbin ...
The FCC is taking on Robocalls  KomandoRobocalls might be on the way out now that they are on the FCC's Radar.
T-Mobile Goes After Scam Calls With 'Caller Verified' Feature  PCMagThis feature is currently limited to Galaxy Note 9 handsets, but T-Mobile said it will be available on 'more smartphones later this year.' Users will see 'Caller ...
How to block spam texts and messages on your phone  KomandoTing! You've just received a new message. You set down your bags of groceries, dig into your pocket and pull out your smartphone. Then, you frown.

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