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FTC's cyber resources. (Tech Talk).

THE FEDERAL Trade Commission (FTC) has unveiled a comprehensive Web site to help businesses and consumers alike stay safe online and avoid nuisances such as spam. The site gives detailed information on a host of online issues; it also provides comprehensive explanations of the rules that apply to online advertisers and marketers, explains how e-mail businesses are required to honor "unsubscribe" messages from consumers, and details the financial privacy requirements of legislation such as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Hyperlinks on the site point visitors to more in-depth analyses of these and other cyber-related issues, while additional resources range from the Better Business Bureau to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Computer Security Resource Center's Small Business Corner.

An FTC study also debunks the myth that clicking on a "remove me" or "unsubscribe" link in a spam message merely verifies a live e-mail address, resulting in more spam. According to Brian Huseman, staff attorney at the FTC, staffers set up dummy e-mail accounts to test the claims of more than 200 spam e-mails. "We found that 63 percent of those removal links and removal addresses were dead, so if you sent an e-mail to the removal e-mail address, it got bounced back as undeliverable, and if you clicked on the link, the link was dead.

"We did not receive any additional spam," he says. But giving false information about how to unsubscribe is a crime. "If they say you can remove yourself by doing this and they don't, then that's false and deceptive and that's why it's illegal and violates the Federal Trade Commission Act."

@ Visit to learn more about the FTC's Web site and recommendations on how to can spam.
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Title Annotation:US Federal Trade Commission
Author:Piazza, Peter
Publication:Security Management
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2003
Previous Article:The instant message menace. (Tech Talk).
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