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ScottyMcGeester's avatar

Are spammers always in your computer?

Asked by ScottyMcGeester (1897points) March 4th, 2016

Been getting a little freaked out lately over spam.

I’ve had gmail for a long time now and you know how everyone has a spam folder. Well, once and a while I just look there to delete everything and over the years I’ve noticed the headlines of spam emails eerily related to private files on my computer.

For example – I write a lot of stories. I send stories to people. However, I recently wrote a story with a military man in it who always addresses his diary entries with his full name and title – “Lance Corporal Scotty McGee”

Many of my spam emails are suddenly using the name “Lance Corporal” So-and-so as the sender.

I found this particularly disturbing. I have never sent anyone this particular story – it’s always been on my private hard drive. I don’t have it on clouds either.

Couple years ago I learned to keep changing up my passwords, especially not to have the same one for multiple accounts. Still – this doesn’t seem to erase weird things like that from happening. Last year I got a confirmation email from Pinterest (or some kind of photo/image social media site like that) and I’m like “What the fuck? I never signed up for this.” So I let them know that I never did.

I always suspect that you can never truly be private on the Internet, even if you use the most private browser. Someone will always seep in. The best way to be private on the Internet is, well, to not use the Internet. . . .

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6 Answers

LuckyGuy's avatar

I get spam but never to that level of “personalization” . Are you aware that google/gmail uses your email to target ads? Try an experiment Put Lance… in the subject then have a few with Lacne Corp… or similar misspelling in the body. . Try it with a different name. John or Jon. etc. When I send email my titles and messages are generally mixed up a bit. Some of my typos are not typos. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
I do the same with reports.
Run a deep virus scan. You might be surprised at what it finds.

Guitarded's avatar

your google searches will also figure into things. eg. you did some research for your story and searched ‘lance corporal’, that will have set up all kinds of facebook targetted advertising related to that search term. the magic of cookies

NerdyKeith's avatar

I generally get very little spam on Gmail. I still have a Yahoo mail account so I can hold on to my Yahoo Answers account (which I seldom use). But from time to time I will check my Yahoo Mail spam and it is a lot of spam. Trouble is Yahoo Mail has pretty much no filtering system. You have to manually block each email address of your spammer.

Although I have to say, the spam I receive never reflects my interests or contents on my computer. Its usually really random stuff.

ScottyMcGeester's avatar

@Guitarded Hrm that’s interesting. I can’t remember if I typed in “lance corporal” exactly but I do know that I was researching army ranks.

I woulnd’t say I have A LOT of spam it’s just that the spam that I DO HAVE seems to be eerily personalized.

LuckyGuy's avatar

@ScottyMcGeester I tink it is time for you to tune up your browser security.
Don’t permit third party cookies, turn off tracking, disable pop ups, disable ads, browse using private window. There are more but just doing these should slow it down.

I just checked the tracker for you on this site – you’re running out of toilet paper and toothpaste.

ibstubro's avatar

Search is what pisses me off.

The majority of searches I do are research.
I’m not looking for shit that is local or that is related to my other, past, searches.
I miss the internet. When you could type in a word and discover all kinds of cool shit you never knew existed. Now I type in “Bistro” because I want to double check the spelling and all the results are places to eat in my area. Like I’m too stupid to include that information if that’s the focus of my search.

And yeah, I have Firefox with firewall, scriptblockers, spyware and all that other crap that slows my already slow satellite connected computer down.

Someone needs to invent a program called “2000” that replicates the internet experience of 2000 to access the information of today.

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