When it comes to email spam, Mac users are no more safe than Windows PC users. No matter how much effort we put into spam filtering tools, everyone gets spam; sooner or later.
As it is with many tools, they can be used for good or for evil. Have you ever wondered how spammers get your email address? As a Mac user, I take the high road—I put much of the blame on Windows.
After all, for years spammers have harvest email addresses from unsuspecting PC users whose machine are littered with spyware, malware, viruses, and worse.
Some spyware does nothing more than copy all the email addresses it can find on a users computer and sends it off to be reproduced in spam land. The process is automated and rather simple.
Mac users have a nifty utility that does, in a legitimate way, pretty much the same thing. URL Extractor X is a good tool that can be put to good use.
It extracts email addresses, web site addresses, any URL—from files on a computer, from the internet, and much more.
So, you want to get a list of email addresses off your computer? Don’t rummage around in Mail or Entourage or ThunderBird. Send in URL Extractor to, uh, well, extract them automagically.
It’s actually quite cool to watch URL Extractor in action. It’s drag and drop. Drag a file onto the utility, and watch it find email addresses or URLs and stack them in a list in a window pane. Easy, huh?
Easier still, is to point URL Extractor to a particular web site and have it scour the site’s pages for URLs or email addresses. It’s literally an automated process.
There’s all kinds of little filters and rules you can set, but this is about as simple as you can get since URL Extractor pulls what you need from files, database files, spreadsheet files, web site pages, and more.
Remember what I said about good tools for evil purposes? URL Extractor can be a legitimate utility for many Mac users. It can also be used to perpetuate the growing problem of email spam.
The Extractor isn’t limited to web site URLs or email. It can also find and stack FTP addresses, RSS feeds and more, from one domain name/site or many.
Basically, it’s a simple process of double-clicking to open URL Extractor, click a few buttons for the settings, then click Start Extraction. Easy, huh?
If only getting rid of email spam could be so simple.