Tuesday, May 17, 2005

SpIM (or IM Spam):
Spam is out of control, I use several methods to keep my exposure to Spam to a minimum, but some still gets through.

I use a disposable, self destructing email addresses (from SpamGourmet) when I sign up at places that I think might generate Spam.

I use a bayesian filter to catch most of the junk that makes it to my mailbox.

I am careful about where I give out my personal (home) email address, and I don't post it online.

I use a couple of online Web mail accounts (from Gmail and Yahoo!) for some of my dealings online, and I trust their Spam blocking features to do a good job of keeping most of the Spam out of those accounts' main inbox.

A while ago I found that I forgot one hole that Spam found a way in on: Instant Messaging (IM).

Yes, as most people who use IM now know, Spam has found it's way to IM, most people refer to it as SpIM.

Unfortunately I can't get rid of IM, we use it at work to communicate not just with people in the next cubicle, but also with people in other buildings spread through the county, and with vendors and support personnel from companies in other states.

Shortly after I started getting SpIMmed I started sending non-anonymous Warnings to the SpIMmers to try to shut them down faster. That's all that got me was more SpIM.

So what was I to do:
I can't get rid of my IM, I still need to use IM.

So after much thought I decided that the only people that I really want to IM with are already on my Buddy List, so I got into my preferences and under Privacy I set the option 'Allow on my Buddy List' to contact me.

This results in a complete blocking of everybody who is not in my Buddy List from contacting me, which includes the SpIMmers. The only drawback is the if somebody new wants to IM me, I need to put them on my Buddy List first.

Is this a perfect solution: No.

Am I happy enough with it to keep doing it: Yes.

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