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Is Email App Attracting SPAM?
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Old 07/12/2009, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I've noticed a pronounced increase in the amount of SPAM I've been receiving over the past month. Usually this SPAM is of the variety that includes <IMG SRC> tags to track when an email has been opened (i.e. "web bugs").

It got me thinking about the way the webOS Email app seems to have individual email messages already retrieved when I go to open it. Could the app be automatically retreiving the tracking URLs and notifying spammers that I exist? I disable automatic external image links in all other IMAP clients I use but as far as I know webOS Email doesn't provide for that.

Anyone else noticed an increase in SPAM or have any insight into this?
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Old 07/12/2009, 11:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I have noticed it too. Spam doesnt automatically go to the spam folder anymore (well, some of it).
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Old 07/12/2009, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No spamming issues on my gmail account but on my yahoo account I seem to be getting some spam. Granted my yahoo account & email addy is years older and the spam filter works over time at keeping my inbox almost spam free. But sense I got my Pre I seem tobe getting new ones that slip by the spam filter, not many. About 4-5 a week.
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Old 07/12/2009, 11:29 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Am Email client can't "attract" SPAM. The only thing that can make more SPAM appear is the lack of SPAM filtering that you were previously doing with another client.
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Old 07/12/2009, 02:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, and the way any device checks email isn't going to give you more spam either.

I washed my car yesterday and my toilet broke.
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Old 07/12/2009, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by musk View Post
I've noticed a pronounced increase in the amount of SPAM I've been receiving over the past month. Usually this SPAM is of the variety that includes <IMG SRC> tags to track when an email has been opened (i.e. "web bugs").

It got me thinking about the way the webOS Email app seems to have individual email messages already retrieved when I go to open it. Could the app be automatically retreiving the tracking URLs and notifying spammers that I exist? I disable automatic external image links in all other IMAP clients I use but as far as I know webOS Email doesn't provide for that.

Anyone else noticed an increase in SPAM or have any insight into this?
If you have a packet sniffer, and your Pre connected to the same network with Wifi, you should be able to prove this very quickly.

That's one of my big fears about simple apps that hide complexity. On the desktop, I'm very methodical about email images and Web cookies, but the Pre might just download/accept all of them.



And, yes, if you start downloading more spam web bugs, you WILL get more spam. Absolutely!!
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Old 07/12/2009, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
Am Email client can't "attract" SPAM. The only thing that can make more SPAM appear is the lack of SPAM filtering that you were previously doing with another client.
Wrong, wrong, wrong!

If your email client loads images from the Internet, then YES it can "attract" more spam.

Google "Web bugs" + "email".


Downloading images in email is just as risky as sleeping around without condoms.
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Old 07/12/2009, 05:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Trust me, I know how to use email and filters. My Yahoo account is far from new. I am just experiencing more spam since I have activated my phone. It could be a coincidence, its just odd timing. I did give Sprint my email address so it could me from them.
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Old 07/12/2009, 05:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by buchkoba00 View Post
No, and the way any device checks email isn't going to give you more spam either.

I washed my car yesterday and my toilet broke.
Again... this is a nice fantasy but it's not true.

Educate yourselves people.
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Old 07/12/2009, 06:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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This is one of the many problems I have with the Email app. Several times I have opened a spam message by accident, then it downloads images before I can stop it. On my PC Thunderbird blocks such. Recently I have been thinking about seeing if Eudora would work in Classic.
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Old 07/12/2009, 07:34 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by buchkoba00 View Post
No, and the way any device checks email isn't going to give you more spam either.
Sure it can. It is something I have noticed recently too and never thought about the email app on my pre but it did start after getting my pre. Would be nice if they could implement a way to block images unless it is someone from your contacts and give you the option to download unknown images instead of just automatically retrieving them.
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Old 07/12/2009, 10:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TommyWIllB View Post
Again... this is a nice fantasy but it's not true.

Educate yourselves people.
No. The was a device checks email will not generate more SPAM. This is simply an interaction with the IMAP, POP, whatever server.

Now it is possible the way an app DISPLAYS email will attract more SPAM. I delete messages without opening them, when they are obvious SPAM. I never load the images or any other little ways of acknowledging that the message went ot a valid account.
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Old 07/12/2009, 11:42 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I am getting more & more spam to my gmail hate to say that if this can't be stopped I'm going to have to change my email & let that useless spam waste space in this email address that will then become a garbage can.
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Old 07/13/2009, 12:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have not received any spam to my gmail or work account at all.
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Old 07/13/2009, 12:50 AM   #15 (permalink)
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On my PC I get Spam which google filters but some times spam is getting into my email but my Pre is not being filtered from spam as well as my PC & Ilm noticing spam in my Pre email, maybe its the spam getting into my email I see on the PC & I don'y notice itls in my PC since I immediately delete it in my Pre.
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Old 07/13/2009, 09:15 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
No. The was a device checks email will not generate more SPAM. This is simply an interaction with the IMAP, POP, whatever server.

Now it is possible the way an app DISPLAYS email will attract more SPAM. I delete messages without opening them, when they are obvious SPAM. I never load the images or any other little ways of acknowledging that the message went ot a valid account.
Are you saying you don't load images on the Pre? If so, how do you do that? This is exactly the behavior that should be available in any IMAP client to circumvent web bugs. I also delete spam that is obvious from the subject line.

My question wasn't about how the Pre interacts with my IMAP server but about how it DOWNLOADS email. I'm making the assumption based on observed behavior that the Pre Email downloads the entire message in the background when it "checks" for mail.

If it is downloading not just the email text (from the server) but also HTML references to external websites (e.g. via the <img src> tag), then we are susceptible to web bugs when using it. This would be a major problem.

Thanks much to TommyWIllB for helping clarify my original post. I tried to be clear but apparently caused some confusion. The packet filter is a good idea but I don't have one readily available to test with.
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Old 07/13/2009, 11:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by sacherjj View Post
No. The was a device checks email will not generate more SPAM. This is simply an interaction with the IMAP, POP, whatever server.

Now it is possible the way an app DISPLAYS email will attract more SPAM. I delete messages without opening them, when they are obvious SPAM. I never load the images or any other little ways of acknowledging that the message went ot a valid account.
True (unless the email is Exchange and the email had a return-receipt)...

...but this is just semantics to the casual user since the entire point is to READ email.

(Especially since there is no way to NOT load images via Pre email like there is on rich desktop email apps.)
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