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Don’t get tagged in sending SPAM

Don’t get tagged in sending SPAM

Wanting to keep up with everyone to see their latest photos, you feel you should be using the latest in technology and services on the Web. But this can lead to embarrassing moments like signing up just to see some photos from a friend and then finding out that you have given a web service permission to send out further invitations to all of the people in your computer’s address book.

Not to pick on tagged.com but it is an example of one that has been going around in the past few months. It bills itself as a social networking site, like Facebook, but it ends up using your email address book to send further SPAM but using your name to make others think that you are actually sending them something useful to look at. It is sort of like that chain mail psychology that gets people to send on good luck wishes.

You get an “invitation” email, looking like it is from a friend wishing to share some photos and includes a link to view them. You click on that link, you are asked to create an account to use their service to see those pictures and, not paying too much attention to all of the assorted options and checkboxes, you find that you have “invited” all of your contacts (email addresses in your address book) to share in that same goodness. You will start getting messages from some of those friends wanting to know why you are giving their email addresses out to other companies. And, you then find yourself apologizing.

The best advice to avoid this and other problems, is that whenever you are asked to create an account at some website, take a minute to think about what you are really signing up for. Do a search on complaints about that website, for example googling “complaints about tagged.com” brings up a lot of information showing that maybe this particular site might not be one you would want to sign up on.

Actually, spending a few minutes googling any of those panic emails that you get, those ones begging you to send on a message to all of your contacts to prevent some awful thing from happening, may show up some of those messages as “urban myths”.