Learn To Cook With SPAM

Mar 31, 2011

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As a lad, I had several opportunities to eat SPAM, most of which occurred on scout camps. I know, interesting how taking away your child's cell phone in today's world is child abuse and yet feeding children SPAM back in the day was not.

Because my experience with cooking SPAM is limited to dumping SPAM into a dutch oven with cream of mushroom soup and some green beans, I don't think I'm one to give any good advice on cooking with SPAM. If you did actually come to this blogpost hoping I'd make you a SPAM cooking connoisseur then I don't want you to go away un-fulfilled, so HERE's a link to some great SPAM recipes.

For those of you who'd like to figure out how you can decrease offers for discount Viagra and offers to claim your unknown Uncle Harry's jagnormous inheritance, read on. I'll attempt to teach you how to overcome that pesky spam problem that has overtaken your email box.

First off, we need to think like a spammer. Read this sentence three times: "I want to make a bunch of money for doing the least amount of work possible." If we can get a few million email addresses to send spam to, eventually we'll get some poor sap to click our link and give us their credit card number or bank account/SSN. Here are several cheap/easy ways we can harvest email addresses to send spam to:

  1. Peddle porn. Porn is pervasively moving into homes across the nation. Never has it been so easy as it is now, with the recent release of the Interweb (side note - spammers are not the most educated folk... many of them probably do actually believe the Internet is called the 'Interweb' and that it was just released yesterday) to get pornographic images into the hands of unsuspecting men, women, and (agahst) even children. Because my cost to put up a website and offer porn on it is just a few bucks a year I'm going to put up 300 free porn sites. As individuals click on images I'm going to either a) infect their computer with a tiny software program that sends out spam to all their friends OR b) ask them to sign up with their email address to access the special "members only" section of my website. With 300 sites infecting computers and harvesting emails it's just a matter of months before I've got a few million emails addresses I can send to.
  2. Give away a free iPad for being the 1 millionth visitor of a website. There are still enough sheep out there that haven't heard of my crazy email stealing tactics that I can still offer free iPads (that I'll never actually send) to the 1 millionth website visitor (oh darn, looks like I didn't program this website correctly so it is somehow thinking every visitor is the 1 millionth) if they just enter their email address. I should be able to get a ton of email addresses from this too.
  3. Search the web for publicly visible email addresses. I'll just buy a cheap program to search through the web looking for email addresses that are publicly visible. This takes a little more effort but is sure to bring in a bunch of email addresses too.
  4. Post something of interest on Facebook. That's right... by simply posting something attention grabbing, such as "Wow, I can't believe Britney Spears is buying that new handbag" (yes, there are actually people out there who would find that interesting) and linking it to a fake Facebook page that harvests login credentials I can likely use those same login credentials to access other accounts of theirs - gaining more than just an email address, but also access to all the email addresses in their contact book.
  5. And the list goes on...

So, now that I've got you thinking like a spammer, here's a few of the most important steps you can/should take to prevent further spamming, account theft, and worse - identity theft:

  1. Don't look at porn. Installing an Internet filter will greatly decrease the chance that someone in your household will visit a site that is infected with a virus or is harvesting email addresses. Even if you don't feel like shelling out a few bucks needed to get the advanced protection of Net Nanny, you should at least have something.
  2. If it sounds too good to be true, it is. Don't fall for it. If you want to take advantage of some offer that may sound too good to be true then use an old email address you are willing to receive spam in - and be extra attentive to NEVER give away any personal info to any site you do not know 100% as being legit.
  3. Don't put your email address online. Wonder why companies most often have "contact us" forms instead of just listing their email address? Because they don't want to get spammed. Never type your email address into forums, blog comments, social networking, etc. If you do, it will likely be made publicly viewable, and your email account will see a jump in spam.
  4. Be careful of what you click on. If you get an email from a friend's Facebook account with updates, or from your bank telling you about a new product be sure to not click links in the email to get to the offer. If it's a legitimate company you should be able to go straight to their site (via typing their web address in the url box at the top of your browser) and find the same offer or update.
  5. Protect yourself. Get Net Nanny.