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by Ray DeCosta

Q. A friend has told me that I should remove all those previous names and addresses on any emails before I forward them. Why is this necessary?

A. Well, you're really doing all your friends and friends-of-friends a great favor by doing so. Some of those jokes and other emails, especially the ones that say "Send this to everyone you know", may actually have been started by spammers. They do this to get numerous emails circulating around the Internet. Eventually, some of those emails get forwarded back to them.

At this point, they now contain hundreds of known valid email addresses which are worth money to other spammers. Those names and addresses are sold to others over and over again. If you don't take a small amount of time to delete those prior addresses, you are helping to perpetuate the huge mass of spam which infests the Internet. It has been estimated that as much as 95% of all email traffic is spam! We should all do our part to help reduce this waste of Internet resources and keep our Inboxes free of spam.

As a courtesy to others, you should really take the time to delete all those previous addresses. While email programs may differ, generally all you have to do after you hit the Forward button is highlight that long list of prior recipients and click Delete or Cut. Immediately, those addresses will vanish and you will have done your small part to reduce spam in the universe.

Published: Courier 9/6/09 - Page 5C