Not sure if related

After trying your extention 2 weeks ago, I started having spam sent from my yahoo accout every couple days. I removed the info from x-notifier and now it has stopped. what is going on?

RpD's picture

What kind of spam?  I have had a Yahoo account for a long time (and many others) and X-Notifier has never been a cause of spam.

neil's picture

Honest; yahoo-spam comes in spurts. I say it's a coincidence that the spam-spurts correlated to your working with X-notifier.

X-notifier isn't "that kind of service."

I learned a couple of decades ago not to respond to spam.  However, when I create a new account (yahoo, gmail, mail.com), no matter how complex the new email address, it's only a matter of time before some spam starts coming in.

With my first yahoo account, which I opened in 1999, I didn't know what spam was, yet, so I clicked on the "Unsubscribe" link.  5 minutes later, I googled for "the product they were selling," and learned what "spam" is.  Obviously, replying in any way, such as clicking on the Unsubscribe link, was the wrong thing to do, and I never did it again, not with that account, nor any later account I created.

I also allowed that email address to appear in plain sight on some yahoo groups, I think with my full name.  That doesn't help.  I must write to that group one day and ask them to munge out my info from those posts.

On that problematic yahoo account, a few years later I moved all my legitimate accounts out of it.  Also in the interim, I signed up with SpamCop.  With nothing coming in anymore except spam, the old email address is a "honeypot," with which I've done a fair amount of contributing to SpamCop over the decades.  Let the spam roll; the bastards.

I've got X-notifier working on a few yahoo acccounts, a few google accounts, a terribly un-ergonomic outlook.com account, and one or two others.  The ones that get the most spam are the yahoo accounts, but there are a couple of yahoo accounts that only get one or two spams per month.  If there were something X-notifier does to attract spam, then I feel that all of my accounts would be a spammerific mess by now, but that never happened, although X-notifier checks them for email every 10 minutes or so.  And I've been using X-notifier for maybe 5 years or more, I think.  The cleaner, mostly unused accounts, remain mostly clean.

If X-notifier were a villain, none of my yahoo accounts would be clean anymore.

I repeat that yahoo is notorious, and their spam ebbs and flows.  If you got some ebb-and-flow with X-notifier, it's a coincidence.

I hope my scenarios work in favor of convincing you that X-notifier isn't dispersing your data.  At least, I haven't heard of X-notifier going to The Dark Side, Luke.

I recall getting spam that looked like an eBay webpage.  It led me to believe that one of the eBay vendors I bought stuff from (years ago) sold my email address.  But the other few hundred vendors, and Amazon, and whomever else, seems to have been trustworthy.  My point is that if you're going to do commerce with your email address, then it's only a matter of time before someone leaks it.

Or, maybe a friend or family member doesn't keep their operating system and antivirus updated, and their computer is infected with spyware, which scans their hard drive to harvest email addresses, and then the spyware sends the email addresses back to the nefarious ring leader, including any credit card numbers and social security numbers it found in the "Auto-Save Form Data" file.

The last two account breakins that I saw (happen to friends), they had really, really simple passwords on their Yahoo accounts.  They got broken into, and the spammers started sending spam with their email addresses in the "From" field.  And they were sending the spam to the "Contacts" for the email account.  So you know we were all opening these spams because we all thought we knew who the sender was.  That was messy.  Changing the password to something complex and awkward put an end to the trouble.

Fortunately, so far, it's free to create a new email account.  Yes, nusaince to have to tell all your contacts to update your email address.  

On the other hand, even Yahoo does a pretty good job of sending the spams to the Spam folder.  And you can make additional folders (filters) for each of your legitimate contacts.  So, spam be damned, if the legitimate emails are so easy to keep segregrated from the spams, then it's not absolutely necessary to abandon an account on account of spam.   Spam won't get into any of the folders you created for legitimate contacts (using Filters).  Most spam will automatically appear in the Spam folder.  But you should quickly look over the spams (while holding your nose) to make sure something legitimate didn't get put into the Spam folder by mistake.  For instance, I have one technology newsletter, and yahoo keeps sending about 1/4 of their distributions into the Spam folder.  So, watch that.

If you create a folder for each of your legitimate contacts, then anything that remains sitting in your Inbox is suspect.

Even my yahoo honeypot account averages less than a dozen spams per day.  I've heard of people getting hundreds of spams every day -- I can't help wondering whom they shouldn't have sent email to.  But even for them, if an evening is spent creating a filter for each legitimate contact, then at least their contacts' folders will be spam-free.

Well, start me up.

The problem isn't X-notifier.  I used to suspect Yahoo of selling email addresses, but then I learned about spammers using software to serially generate email addresses.  They'll transmit 10,000 emails to addresses that might not even exist.  But maybe a couple do.  And if they can get a reply to one, then it was worth all the work, even though the computer did all the work, sending 10,000 emails every few minutes.

So one day I let yahoo off the hook, mostly, since it's the spammers' work, not yahoo's leakage.  But I never understood why, if gmail can do such a good job of keeping spam out of our email accounts, why can't yahoo do as good a job, at least?  These are the questions that keep me up at night.

And now, I better go pop some lithium.  Thanks for tolerating.

-neil-