Posts tagged “Spam

How To Survive The Internet #1

The internet can be a scary place. Over time you might find certain websites that you cannot live without. Now because I’m just awesome that way, I’ve decided to share some of the better ones out there, so you don’t have to sift through pages of Google results.

Of course if I had to start listing them by the hundreds as I easily could, you would give up before you even reached the halfway mark. So instead, once in a while, I’ll give you five of my favourites that stick out at that moment. Just click on the headings to go to each website. They aren’t in any particular order or in categories, they’re just there, because otherwise my CDO might kick in. *twitch*

1) Zamzar

Of all the websites I have ever come across, this one must be one of the most highly recommended. Have you ever received a file and not been able to open it? You can either mission trying to find the software to open it or try to convert it somehow…

That is why Zamzar is here. It has a pretty comprehensive list of supported file formats. With the free version of their service, you can upload files up to 100MB in size, going up to 1GB for paying customers. As a paying customer you also get online storage for a certain amount of time, can upload larger files, do concurrent conversions and much more

Its a pretty straightforward process as well:

  • Upload file
  • Choose output format
  • Enter email address
  • Go to download link (or storage inbox for paying customers) and download converted file.

I have tested the converter on all sorts of files (pdf to doc, xls to pdf, jpg to bmp, jpg to pdf and many more and have not been able to find a fault in any conversion.

As an extra bonus, the site also allows you to convert videos from most video sites, such as YouTube, into downloadable videos.

This is truly a life saver of a website.

2) Snopes

I don’t like spam, at all. So when people I know forward me e-mails that are clearly spam, I get really angry. I won’t even get onto the Facebook spam that I get on my  Facebook News Feed. If you don’t know what Snopes is, you are probably one of those people that forwards every e-mail that you receive and annoy the hell out of people like me.

Here’s how it works. If you receive a mail that you think may be a scam or spam, type the subject line or part of the message into Snopes’ search box and “voila!”

It’s not just email, it also lists various other types of scams running. Check the Hot 25 list for the most circulated scams at the moment

Hoax Slayer, Truth Or Fiction & Urban Legends are also decent alternatives and can also be used to double check your suspicions

3) Central Ops

This site is for the more advanced user and has some very useful online network tools. Get information on an IP address, get a domain’s information & records or even see what information your browser is displaying about you to the world (or more importantly to spammers or other undesirable people out there.)

To just verify an email address, use verify-email.org. This site is pretty simple. Got an e-mail that has bounced back and want to confirm if the address is valid? Just check it here.

4) Down for everyone or just me?

The idea here is simple. Picture the scene: You go to your favourite website, but it won’t open, so you start swearing (and possibly bashing your keyboard) because your email, and whatever else, is working.

This is where this site comes in… you simply enter the url into the box, click “or just me?” and within seconds you will know whether the entire site is down or if the problem is on your side.

5) How Secure Is My Password?

Want to know how secure your password is? Enter it here to find out how long it would take someone with an average desktop PC to crack your password. Simple

Just as an extra, here is a video I came across today that I thought I’d share…


The World Is F***ed #3: Spam

Screenshot of website in the sms

Yesterday I had my moment of fame. I was quoted in a local newspaper regarding an sms scam that went around Port Elizabeth last week Thursday. During the night on Thurday, I received an sms which read:

Hi Charles you have 1 new message from Cindy in Richmond hill click here to view your message (link to site – screenshot on the right)

Once you went to the page it recognises your cellphone number from the message itself, as the link is unique to your number. So as soon as you click on any of the links you would immediately be subscribed to the service for R9.99 a day.

According to the article, some people had problems with their partners thinking they were cheating or whatever. What pisses me off about this is the fact that there are people who or still dumb enough to think this is real. I wish people would learn to recognise spam.

It makes me think of the people who click on the fake Osama Bin Laden death videos or those fake stalker apps on Facebook and spam everyone’s newsfeed. That is besides getting a virus or whatever else, which they deserve if you ask me. I don’t feel sorry for people who get viruses through their own stupidity. A while back I formatted an acquaintance’s PC after having removed a virus and within two days he had completely screwed it up again. I think he still has the virus since I refuse to fix his stupidity. I actually hope he reads this *grin*.

I guess my point is that in this day and age when spam counts for such a large percentage of all communication, be it sms, email or whatever, we should really know how to differentiate between what is real and what is spam. Spam only works because of people’s stupidity (and to a lesser degree curiosity).