No wait, before I start, I’m going to get a coffee…
* fives minutes later *
* runs urgent sales report for boss *
* fifteen minutes later *
Alright, here goes… I need to get a couple of things off my chest.
First off… My wonderfully intelligent little sister Julie had a brain failure a few days ago. She signed herself up for SMS.ac, some stupid service (whether or not it offers the service it claims to at all remains to be discovered) with a thinly disguised purpose. So thinly disguised, it asks you for your hotmail address AND PASSWORD outright!
Unfortunately, Julie had left her brain in her socks drawer that day and put in her password. As a result, everyone in her address book got some spam inviting them to do the same. Odds are, she’s also put her mobile phone number so if the phone in question WAS SMS-enabled, she’d be in for a lifetime of phone spam. I’m not furious about it anymore (who put valium in my latte?!?) but I’m certainly not impressed.
Update (02/12/04): A bit of research tells me the average spam received from sms.ac daily would cost the dingdong who signed up for it a good 3-4$ in received SMS phone spam and jokes from the service. Now if that’s not reason enough not to sign up for it, I don’t know what it! Do NOT sign up for that service, do NOT give your password as it means everyone in your address book gets the same invite message FROM YOU!
*Preacher mode* This is my attempt to reach out to you all, my friends. Use your brain, play safe, don’t send your friends chain letters, hoax warnings or worst crime of all, sign them up for things without their permission. They won’t be your friends anymore.
The internet is full of dirty old men offering you candy to get you in the big white van. You wouldn’t get in their van in real life, so don’t give away your passwords, card numbers or address to spammers online.
Things to do before forwarding emails to your friends or signing them up for crap:
- Hoax warnings: Check them, they’re probably fake anyways. I’ve come across ONE real warning in about 10 years. Find out on F-Secure, Urban Legends and other similar sites.
- Forwards: Think for two seconds whether they really care to get a powerpoint animated presentation telling them “Don’t worry, be happy, here’s a photo of Leonardo DiCaprio”. If their IQ is lower than the age of the average Leo fan, then send away. Otherwise, please don’t, FFS! It only results in your email address being passed on to thousands of people down the list, and spambots picking up on it.
- “Send this to your friend”: Copy/paste the URL yourself if you think they’ll be so interested and email that, rather than putting their address in and signing them up for trashmail.
- Sites that ask for your password: Now, if you can’t figure out that it’s bad to enter your password on a third party site, right this way for the frontal lobotomy with a rusty spoon. You’ve deserved it.
I’m an angry old hag? Yah I know. Thanks.
Update (02/12/04) “My wonderfully intelligent little sister Julie had a brain failure a few days ago.” This isn’t sarcastic, I do mean it when I say she’s smart. She just did something silly that day, hence calling it a brain failure. Julie, prend pas ça personnel! Penses-y juste deux fois la prochaine fois! 😉 xoxo Véro