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Spam, junk mail, telemarketers and Your Privacy.
by Dermot O'Connor.
It's easy to think that there's nothing we mere mortals can do in the face of attempted corporate brainwashing. Unfortunately for the advertisers, there are many things that we can do to enrich our lives and diminish theirs. The chaps on the TV aren't going to tell you about them, since they're part of the global network sending the junk to you in the first place.
A surprising number of people aren't aware that you can ask to be put on a "Do not call back list", after which the telemarketer is forbidden to call you for TEN YEARS. Do it right though, follow the lnk below and do it by the numbers. If we all hold hands and do this together, we can put these jokers out of business!
If you happen to be a telemarketer, please try to find a different job. You're wasting your life. Eternity is a long time to be dead, and it's bad enough wasting your short life, never mind mine.
The Anti-Telemarketer website: Oodles of telemarketer humor. Vince Nestico started harassing telemarketers; now he's making money off of them! This is a great site, lots of nasty things to do to the cold call brigade.
Junkbusters: A first rate site with lots of information. If you really want to give telemarketers a Caniption Fit, then read
Bookmark this page and print it out. Keep it by your phone. You might make a little cash! Follow all the lnk on the Junkbusters home page; they're a gold mine.
Prohibitory Order: This is the best kept secret of our time. Want to stop junk mail coming to your house for ever? Download the form and print it out, or call your post office and have them send you some blank prohibitory orders. You fill them out and send them back to the junk mailers. That'll stop them, and if it doesn't you hire a lawyer and milk the swine!
Spyware is one of the most despicable things that a software company can do. Basically, it's a program that secretly monitors your surfing habits and online activity, then emails the results back to HQ. More recently, Blizzard, the makers of Diablo have been found guilty with a recent patch of Diablo (v.1.06). Real networks was also found to be logging users surfing habits with it's Real Media Player back in the last century.
The FTC has quite a lot of useful info too. The federal government standing up for consumers! Who would have thought?
Cookie opt-out: A little self policing by the banner advertisers. This switches off your cookies when you visit sites that serve cookies by these advertisers. I'm not sure if I believe them, but it can't do any harm to try it out. These guys are terrified of Privacy Legislation, so this may be legitimate.
Guidescope has a nice banner ad killing plug-in for your browser. I haven't used it, and can't vouch for it, but it looks good.
Hoaxbusters: The next time you get an email warning you that there's going to be a tax on email, go here. They'll set you straight.
Scambusters has a huge list of internet cons.
PGP encryption: Worried about your data falling into the wrong hands? This open sourced project creates an encrypted partition on your hard drive. Again, I haven't used this yet, so I can't comment first hand. If you do intend to try it, then BACK UP YOUR SYSTEM first...
Zonelabs makes an amazing free firewall called Zonealarm. If you're online with a windows based pc, especially if you have a cable modem or DSL, you MUST have this program. Look for the "Zone Alarm Free download". It's regularly rated as superior to many commercially available firewalls.