What to write to spammers

The first thought to cross our minds is, DON’T! Answering a spam email or comment only tells the spammer that you are a live link and they’ll pester you forever afterwards.

Should we write back to spammers?

How much spam really has been reduced as a result of GDPR and other data protection reforms in 2018?

However there are times when you should throw caution to the wind and have a bit of fun with the spam you receive, if for no other reason than it’s a little bit of revenge to pay them back for bothering you.

But what about GDPR and all the other privacy rules that were tightened up this year?

What about them, already.

After we all spent hours – no, weeks and months – agonising over what we could and couldn’t say, what information we could and couldn’t hold, whether we could send an email to our mother without having got her permission first, all that spam has vanished, right?

And of course these data protection policies we all had to produce and display (my own humble version runs to a mere 6,400 words) have magically transformed our behaviour towards privacy and now I even contact Amazon for permission before I order a book online.

Bullsh*t.

Are you old enough to remember the Year 2000 pandemonium?

That was another example of mass hysteria churned up by public-sector scaremongers who should have known better and greedy “compliance trainers” who hopped on to the pay-us-for-a-seminar-that-will-keep-you-out-of-the-doo-doo bandwagon faster than Mach 2.

For millennials reading this, in the late years of the 20th century some IT nerds decided that despite trillions having been invested in developing what already were highly sophisticated computers, no-one in Silicon Valley had had the common sense to make sure that everything would still work when the meter tripped over to 2000 from 1999.*** This was affectionately known as The Millennium Bug.

When the fireworks went off at midnight on January 1st, 2000, millions of geeks around the world held their breath expecting all the lights to go out.

Article about spam

The Y2K bug … a very expensive way to find out that everything actually was OK…

What happened? Nothing. Nada. Diddly squat. It seems someone in Silicon Valley did have enough common sense, after all, to plumb into 20th century computers that the world was not going to end in 1999.

In the meantime, fortunes were made from ripping off frightened business owners with precautionary training they didn’t damn-well need.

Sound familiar? 18 years later what has happened with the GDPR panic attacks?

Apart from some mealy-mouthed text being added to websites and emails about how we value your privacy plus several lines of jargon rustled up at huge expense by the company’s lawyers, nothing has changed.

I still get the same number of spam mails – although the origins now are probably in countries which thumb their noses at such boring trifles as the UK’s Data Protection Act or its USA equivalent.

If I hit the word “unsubscribe” – usually in tiny little pale pink letters at the bottom – I may get unsubscribed, supposedly, only to be spammed by another perpetrator from the same source the next day.

Other times, the unsubscribe link takes me to an error page, or even a page that says that communication from my IP is not accepted in the intended recipient’s country (so how did they manage to email me? Hmm?)

So, 6,400 words later, spammers are still finding me despite GDPR

What do I write to them?

I try to resist swearing or even reacting because I know that’s only opening the door to more spam.

But every now and again I write a response consisting of two words, the second of which is “off…” or to put it more poetically, I suggest they do something connected with sex and travel.

And I still get my little bit of revenge here in my humour section…enjoy!

How do you feel about this new generation of spammers?

Please share your thoughts…

*** I have trivialised this problem so my facts aren’t totally accurate. But almost…!

 

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