A newsletter reader wrote to me this week asking a question about a particular web site that I mentioned in a previous newsletter. He was "worried" that the site might sell his e-mail address. I replied, "Who cares?" Let me explain.
Here is an excerpt from the e-mail message I received:
This sounds too good to be true, and so I am very curious as to the business model that [this site] is following. I am worried that they might sell my email address.
Indeed, selling of e-mail addresses is a common and odorous activity on the web. Thousands of e-mail sites gather addresses and then sell them. Even more common, many web sites will bombard you with their own advertising. Quite a few genealogy sites do that. You sign up for some free service on a web site, and then they start flooding your in-box with advertising messages two or three times a week.
Other bad things can also happen: the company could go out of business, and your e-mail address ends up in the wrong hands. Even less likely but still possible, a employee of that company could secretly sell your address.
Technically, such messages sent after you sign up for something are not spam since the companies do have a relationship with you. You created that relationship. However, those messages sure look like spam when you receive them. Some genealogy companies are very aggressive, sending lots of this junk. Personally, the more ads they send, the less likely that I will ever do business with them in the future. I would suggest that you also boycott these overly aggressive advertisers.
NOTE: I must point out that this newsletter NEVER sends advertising e-mail messages to anyone. I also do not sell or share my list of subscribers. If you sign up for either the Standard Edition or the Plus Edition at www.eogn.com, you will not receive advertising e-mail messages. I don't like that junk, and I refuse to flood your in-box. I prefer to respect my subscribers.
In fact, I see at least three solutions. All are super easy, and all three are available free of charge. Actually, I use a fourth solution that costs a few dollars, but I like it as it provides many more options. I’ll describe that one last.
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