It is estimated that over 7 trillion spam messages are sent and received each year. Most of them come my way.
You may not open up and look at what your computer has rejected for you, but it is amazing how well it knows what you should not read.
For example, it believes I am a sucker for a pretty watch. My spam file is full of offers for real knockoff Rolex and Patek Philipe timepieces. I can save thousands off retail, but I have to search for it.
We get several solicitations a day for health insurance. We can save hundreds of dollars by switching companies. The companies have strong, legitimate-sounding names.
This is not the only way we can save money. Almost every offer can help us keep our dough or make more of it. According to the messages, there is no need to work.
My computer thinks that there is an attraction to International singles. There are many offers for marriage. My spouse tells me I am not interested, but it is nice to know I’m still attractive to young Russian women.
People on the Internet think that our family suffers from many physical problems, from flatulence to ADHD. We get hundreds of solicitations to purchase drugs, mostly from Canada and always very cheap.
These same mail-order drug companies target me, believing that I have only one main physical complaint.
Every so often, there is a distant relative who dies in some African country leaving me money. Other times it is a distant relative who needs financial help that will be paid back when the foreign government allows him to export gems from his diamond mine.
This is an interesting family of mine.
The sending of unsolicited mass advertising over the Internet has grown so great that we now have added the new word “spamming” to our language. If we think it is a pain when we receive it, consider the huge cost for those Internet carriers that must build servers to handle it all.
Then there is the cost
of adding a good firewall to our computer with spam protection. You cannot go on the Internet without it or you end up with malware.
Computers are not any smarter than what they are trained to do. This means that they see certain words and phrases and send the message to spam.
There are times when important communications end up in the garbage because they look unimportant.
At the end of the day, it still means scrolling through the spam file while feeling sorry for Hormel. They make the original Spam. A once good name defamed by the Internet.
• Mike McLellan can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4201 or emailing him at email@example.com.