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Trash annoying junk e-mail

Time passes quickly, and our lives are so busy that we barely acknowledge the changes that take place around. When you stop to think, it was just a little over 100 years ago that people traveled by horse and buggy, telephones didn’t exist, and computers were unfathomable.

For the most part, technological advances have been to the benefit of mankind. Of course, with the good, a little bad comes along. Take the invention of the telephone. Before the telephone, the only way to communicate was by mail or horseback messenger, which took days or weeks to get through. Then the telephone came and people were able to communicate at great distances. Along with the telephone came the telemarketer. Suddenly instead of having long conversations with friends or family, we hated to answer the phone in fear of a salesperson. Then came answering machines, voice mail, and best of all, Caller ID. Now we can see who is calling without having to pick up the phone.

Enter the computer. No one can imagine how we got along without one, and many never had to. E-mail is a fantastic way to keep in touch with friends and family. On the down side, spam can clutter up your inbox or even worse, spread a virus.

Now there’s Caller ID for the computer. The computer industry has been working on a system called E-mail Authentication, which is supposed to do the same thing for e-mail that’s done for the telephone. This new program will assure that messages are from the person or company that’s identified. The new program will be up and running within 18 months.

Consumers won’t have to buy or do anything, other than know that their internet service provider uses the system and learn how it works. Hotmail and Yahoo are starting to attach verification messages to e-mails. Once fully implemented, consumers can delete messages that don’t display the appropriate seal.

Speaking for someone who has been the intended target of virus attachments, all I can say is “Thank God!”