My apologies for the spams sent earlier today. We are able to avoid most of the junk by only allowing subscribers to post, but spam sent from subscribed accounts unfortunately gets through. Of course it's not the subscriber themselves who is sending the spam; it's a criminal who has illegally gained access to their email account, via spyware, phishing, or brute-force password guessing.

The occasional spam on the list is a fairly minor inconvenience, but there is a more serious side effect: spams coming from our server can trigger anti-spam watchdogs to black-list our server, which in turn can convince your email provider that it should block all mail from the list. This is not a hypothetical problem. More than 100 subscribers have had legitimate list mail blocked over the past month, and this problem continues to plague many of them. MU is working on it, but clearing one's good name is a complicated process, and more spam certainly doesn't help our case.

So please don't tell yourself that this is someone else's problem. Take appropriate steps to ensure that you're not the next victim.

1) Pick a hard to guess password for your email, and don't use it for any other online account.

2) Use decent anti-virus/anti-spyware software; preferably one that prescreens websites that you visit.

3) Don't ever enter your email password in response to a link in an email or website, no matter how official looking it may be. Use it only at your regular mail login screen.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.

Dave Scheu
MOBirds-L list co-owner
St. Louis, MO

The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
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