Posted Wednesday, December 8, 2004
Everyone agrees that SPAM is a growing problem on the Internet. And with estimates that we will soon have over 1 billion people worldwide surfing the net, this problem will only continue to grow worse.
The worst part of this situation is that spammers are very clever people and they are using all of their knowledge to get their message onto our desktops whether we want it or not.
For example, this week hidden among all of my usual get-rich quick schemes and penis enlargement information was an email from a porn site that literally took control of my desktop.
As soon as the email message was highlighted in my Outlook Express window, it launched a web page that took up the entire screen of my computer.
There it was on my 21" monitor, for the whole world to see it if they were looking over my shoulder, a lusty, busty women crouched on her knees with her arms pressing together her breasts to overly exaggerate the obvious and her legs spread so far apart you could see her most intimate body parts in all of their powder pink glory.
I am a man with a healthy love for women but I do not appreciate having this sort of thing forced on me because someone wants me to give them my money in exchange for pornographic pictures.
As far as I am concerned, these are "Terroristic Tactics".
My computer and I were held hostage by the use of HTML source code that includes script language that launches a window to view their web page.
Worse still, the window is one that takes up the entire computer screen and does not have the usual buttons on the upper right hand corner to minimize or close the window.
And, it might even include the command to keep popping open even more windows on your desktop at set intervals that can literally freeze up your computer!
What can you do to fight back?
Whether this problem occurs via reading your email or if you are trapped into it while visiting a web site, there are a few things you can do short of ripping the power cord out of the wall.
First of all, the Federal Trade Commission, FTC, (http://www.ftc.gov/), takes a very dim view of anyone that tries to force you to view any material you do not wish to view, be it advertising or pornography.
In a recent action by the Federal Trade Commission, they "asked a U.S. District Court Judge to halt a Internet scam that clones everyday Web sites and uses the copycat sites to barrage unsuspecting consumers with pornography. According to the agency, the scammers copy existing Web sites and insert coded instructions in the copycat sites which automatically redirects unwitting consumers to adult sites operated by the defendants. Then the scammers disable the browser's "back" and "exit" commands so that Internet surfers trying desperately to escape the pornographic images face screen after screen of similar material and advertisements for other adult sites."
"These operators high-jacked Web sites, 'kidnapped' consumers and held them captive," said Jodie Bernstein, Director of the FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection. "They exposed surfers, including children, to the seamiest sort of material and incapacitated their computers so they couldn't escape. They copied as many as 25 million Web pages from sites as diverse as the Harvard Law Review and the Japanese Friendship Garden. When consumers used search engines to find subjects as innocent as 'kids on the net,' 'news about Kosovo,' or 'wedding services,' they risked being exposed to a torrent of tawdry images. This scam is outrageous and we want it off the Internet. We're confident the court will help us arrange that."
The Federal Trade Commission is a powerful regulatory agency and they will accept complaints from consumers on both SPAM and also a Web Page or Web Sites that are using deceptive or terroristic tactics.
You may forward unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam) to the Commission, by sending it directly to them at: mailto:UCE@FTC.GOV
I would suggest you not bother them with ordinary run of the mill SPAM but rather limit your complaints to email like the one I described above that literally takes control of your computer.
You may also file a complaint with the Commission online by visiting their web site at: (http://www.ftc.gov/)
Scroll to the bottom of their web site where you will see the link to "File A Complaint Online".
On a more immediate basis, it is important to know at least a few of the handy Windows "Shortcut" commands that will allow you to regain control of your computer without the need to shut it down all together.
For a more extensive list of Window's Shortcuts delivered to you FREE via Auto-Responder, send a blank email to: mailto:email@example.com
Perhaps one of the best commands to know by heart is: ALT + F4 = Quitting the open program
That command comes in very handy when you have a window open that takes up your entire screen area and does not show the customary Minimize/Restore/Close boxes that are found in the upper right hand corner of all Window's programs.
Another good one to keep in mind is: ALT + SPACE = Display of the System Menu that allows you to Restore-Move-Resize-Minimize-Maximize or Close a window.
And as a last resort, if nothing else seems to be working, you can always try:
CTRL + ESC = Opens the Start Menu from which you can properly shut down your computer.
Until the powers that be take direct action to stop SPAM at every possible opportunity, we will all have to put up with the nuisance of deleting junk email from our inbox. But at least we do not have to tolerate the invasion of our computer with code meant to make us a hostage on our own desktop and in our own homes.
About the Author
A.T.Rendon is an entrepreneur and published writer. Subscribe to FREE Business Classifieds Newsletter & receive FREE online access to our Password Protected "FREE Submit To Over 2.7 MILLION FREE Ad Sites!" mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us at: (http://emailexchange.org/?Articles)