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Old 03-31-2010, 12:23 AM   #1
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Free WIFI equals excessive spam.

Hi, I guess this isn't such a big deal, but after every trip with our Airstream while

useing my wife's lap top, on free WIFI, I come home to tons of spam. I just delete it all,

but it makes me think that the free WIFI has a cost and that cost is my E-mail address being sold to the highest bidder. Is this correct or am I hallucinating?
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Old 03-31-2010, 12:33 AM   #2
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How does the free wi-fi work? Do you have to sign up for it and hand over your email to get access?
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:16 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefrobrts View Post
How does the free wi-fi work? Do you have to sign up for it and hand over your email to get access?
Hi, First my wifes lap top has built-in WIFI. Most camp grounds will give you a pass word or code to access the provider. Since it is over the air, they let you know that it is not a secure site. And since you are useing their system, I'm pretty sure they are tracking your use. I get spam at home too, on dial-up service, but way more spam from on the road. I don't really know exactly how they do it, but I'm sure some one on this forum knows how the spammers get the E-mail addresses.
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Old 03-31-2010, 01:24 AM   #4
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One useful technique is to use gmail or one of the other mail providers that use https for the entire connection. This prevents anyone from snooping usefully. Keep in mind that gmail will also allow secure imap access if you use that kind of email client...

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Old 03-31-2010, 04:21 AM   #5
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Spammers get email addresses several ways, they buy lists that have your email address on it. They also cruise internet forums looking for exposed email addresses If you sign up for "free" stuff online or even one of those sign up boxes at the local camping resort, free give aways at home shows, etc. I use a junk email address for things like that so it can be shut down without affecting my normal email address if the spam gets too bad.

I have also discovered that if your email address is something common like jbrown@yourisp.com you are more likely to get spam than if it is 88toodles79@yourisp.com.

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Old 03-31-2010, 05:44 AM   #6
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Another way spammers get address' is through e-mail address generators. This software makes up e-mail address' and then send spam to it. If the address doesn't "bounce", then it is added to a list of valid address' and sold.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS View Post
Hi, I guess this isn't such a big deal, but after every trip with our Airstream while

useing my wife's lap top, on free WIFI, I come home to tons of spam. I just delete it all,

but it makes me think that the free WIFI has a cost and that cost is my E-mail address being sold to the highest bidder. Is this correct or am I hallucinating?
Robert,

You are not hallucinating. I too have noticed the same thing after using wi-fi at camp grounds. My e-mail provider has a pretty good spam filter, but I still get them from time to time, and I have to go to the spam folder, sort thru them to make sure no good e-mails are there because that also happens. Then I also have to delete the spam periodically. When it gets too bad, I go into my e-mail options, and set it to accept e-mail only from people on my e-mail list. That works two ways...first, I don't get the spam. Second, the spammer gets the e-mail back that they try to send to me, and that causes them extra work.
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Old 03-31-2010, 06:51 AM   #8
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I stayed at a Super8 motel one time and checked my email from their free wifi and a week later i got a junk email from them. I think they have software to find email addys in their free wifi system.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:00 AM   #9
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The best way to address this is to get your mail over a secure (encrypted and authenticated) connection.
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Old 03-31-2010, 07:22 AM   #10
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Old 03-31-2010, 09:02 AM   #11
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Makes me wonder. I know that many campground operators are themselves unable to handle wifi systems (much less email address harvesters), so they contract out to some provider or another. There would lie the problem, I'd bet.

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Old 03-31-2010, 09:50 AM   #12
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We use the wifi at campgrounds on a regular basis as we run an internet business from the Airstream when we are traveling. We do get some spam, but not what I would call an excessive amount. We use AOL for our email service, and I have found they do a better job than most at filtering out true spam.

We don't have much of a choice as we need to be on-line whenever possible. We do have internet service on our notebooks through Verizon Wireless, and use this connection when we handle banking matters. Otherwise we use free wifi when and where we can get it.

Brian
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:01 AM   #13
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Have never had the slightest problem with excessive SPAM after using CG WiFi and I've used it all over the country.
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Old 03-31-2010, 10:14 AM   #14
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You know, I haven't observed it -- and it may not exist -- but if a login procedure to some network required you to include an email address, that would be an easy way for even some dumb-bell to collect addresses. Consider putting in a fake address. Or create an alter-ego account on gmail/yahoo and use it for all purposes of this kind.

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