NCU Efforts to Can the Spam

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By CASSIE KICKERT
Staff Writer

Spam is defined as “internet slang that refers to unsolicited email (UCE) or unsolicited bulk email (UBE),” according to Indiana University’s website.

People commonly call spam junk email. Spammers often use bots, automatic programs used to scour the Internet, to collect addresses or buy them from other companies in bulk. Spammers, having nothing to lose, often send thousands or even tens of thousands of messages for just one response.

Spammers utilize various techniques in order to entice the reader to view their messages.

For example, they can disguise the origin of their messages, send messages from a different server than their own, and send a message from one account and then close the account.

They can also open an account and forge headers of messages so that even a technical investigation cannot reveal the actual source of the message.

Doing this, however, violates the CAN-SPAM Act (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act) of 2003. This law took effect on January 1, 2004.

The CAN-SPAM Act bans false or misleading information, prohibits deceptive subject lines, requires spammers to give email recipients a method to opt-out, and requires that spammers provide their physical address and a clear message that their email is an advertisement, according to www.ftc.gov.

Violating the CAN-SPAM act costs violators up to $16,000 for each rule violation. More penalties will be assessed to those who also harvest email addresses from websites, use scripts or other automated ways to register for multiple email or other accounts, or send emails on a computer or network without permission, according to www.ftc.gov.

To prevent online accounts from being hacked or spammed, use strong passwords that do not use your name, username, or other personal information such as a birthdate.

Examples of effective passwords can be found at www.microsoft.com/protect/fraud/passwords/checker.aspx.

In addition, do not access important online accounts on public computers such as those in libraries or coffee shops and never give anyone your password. Avoid using the same password for multiple accounts.

Spam can cause a considerable amount of damage from causing the student network to run slower to reporting where you go on the Internet and what you do on your computer to identity theft.

“It can cause your account or your provider to become blacklisted, making it impossible to email anyone,” said Mike Cappelli, North Central Director of Information Technology (IT).

In light of North Central emails being blacklisted, information technology has set up added levels of protection.

“Information Technology is implementing some additional security measures that will require students to use stronger passwords, said Capelli. “[IT is also] installing additional hardware that will prevent sending out large amounts of SPAM.”

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