E-mails now have a connection back to their servers. I will leave the technical aspects out of this article. Instead, I will walk you through how information from your computer is getting back to them.
You have probably experienced this already, an e-mail lands in your box with many symbols in the subject line created with the Shift Key plus a Number Key. This is the most common one. For example, it may look like this: &*)(*&^%$! Except the length of the symbols are longer.
When you click on it to delete it, any further action, including the deletion of the e-mail seems to go into la-la land. In other words, you can do anything else. This may last up to a minute or two depending on your computer speed. You have just been pinged and information is going back to their server saying there is a live connection.
In addition, because the symbols change all the time, it's difficult to block them unless you use a program like Spam Arrest.
Here is an easy way and excellent way to protect from this and all you have to do is change the way you dial in and out.
If you have a DSL line or any other type Internet connection that is open all the time. Control how frequently you allow e-mails to upload into your system. If you use Outlook, you go into Tools, Options, select the Mail Delivery tab and change "check messages every" 30, 60 or 90 minutes. This also helps on time management if e-mails are eating up too much of your time.
Next, after all your e-mails are uploaded into your software, whether you set the time management feature above, close off the Internet connection. It will not stop the lost 30 or 60 seconds these e-mail lock up your computer but you have cut off any possible pinging.
After you close the Internet connection, read, review and delete the e-mails. After completing this, you can go ahead and reopen the Internet connection, and send your responses.
If you have a dial-up connection, you can do this same method, except you will ignore the Mail Delivery option mentioned earlier.
This actually isn't just happening on e-mails with these symbols. There are other programmed e-mails dumping cookies on your computer. I will not address how to remove cookies in this article. To find out how your software can remove your cookies use F1 (help) on your keypad in your e-mail software to find the answer before. WindowsXP also has additional information for removing cookies under: Start, Help and Support.