Over the years, I’ve noticed trends in the IT field. New laptop setups in the summer before school, printer troubleshoots during tax season, wi-fi setups in new homes. And over all these years there is one thing in specific that is trending on the incline day-in and day-out…
“Hello, your car warranty is about to expire.”
Spam. From calls to emails to the classic mail, spam is here to stay and to forever evolve. Nearly daily while in a client’s home, there is an unwanted call or email popup. And in turn, I keep being asked the same question,
“How do I make it stop?“
Well, at the moment we have two different approaches to all this spam, the reactive approach, and the preventative approach.
The reactive approach is all the ways we react to the spam once it’s already come in. For emails, we see the spam come into our inbox and we react by hitting that Report as Spam button. For phone calls, maybe we have a service through our phone provider that tries to recognize spam and label it as such, or an app that blocks phone calls (even non-spam calls, ouch), or we hang up on the caller, ignore the call, or worse we answer and tell them off. And for mail, we probably just continuously throw all that wasted paper right in the trash or shredder. With every approach here we are affected negatively, and with every reaction, our attention is taken away from more important things and time is wasted. If you had to guess how much time hourly, daily, weekly….yearly, you’ve wasted on spam, how much time was lost that could’ve been spent as working hours or with family?
The preventative approach prevents spam from even happening in the first place. Have you ever wondered how these spammers even get your information in the first place? Well, as we are living in the era of information, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there is more information available on the internet besides how to cook blueberry scones or where the closest Aldi’s is. Unfortunately, nearly every individual’s information can also be found online in some capacity, some more than others, and often more invasive than you’d like to believe. It’s commonplace to find addresses, phone numbers, emails, relatives, and even people who have previously lived at your address linked to your information. Want to see what I mean? Open Google, and type in your name. If it’s a common name, type in your name and current city, or even your birth city. Are you surprised by the results? You might be surprised to find out that there are hundreds of sites out there that mine (like gold, but on the internet instead of underground) your information and sell it to others. Others who then try to sell you things by calling or emailing you…your spammers.
Part of my goal when forming whatsIT was to create a service that worked on preventing spam from interfering in our lives the way that it does. The system I’ve developed focuses on removing your information from sites that have gathered, amassed, and are now distributing it without your information. The other part of the preventative approach is in your control. Not signing up for spam mail on websites, or unsubscribing if you do. Not allowing notifications on websites (to prevent spam on your computer). And not answering phone calls from unknown numbers. When you answer or hang-up on a possible spam call, it tells the caller that it is a live number and to call again. If you can help it, do not answer spam calls, let them ring through for the time being. And in the meantime, sign up for our Initial Spam Prevention Package for Individuals. Or, if you’ve already had our Initial Service, sign up for the Refresher Spam Prevention Package for Individuals. This follow-up service, recommended for every year after the initial service, goes through any new data mining websites that have been developed since the last time your information had been removed.