Practical Technology

for practical people.

If you don’t use it, lose it.


After decades in the technology business I can still make dumb mistakes. In my recent mis-step, I received a message from a Yahoo Group with a name that looked like someone had dropped a cat on a keyboard. What the heck?

My mistake wasn’t that someone had added me to a Yahoo group , or rather that wasn’t my real mistake. I discovered, much to my surprise, that the default on Yahoo accounts is to allow Yahoo groups administrators to add you to their groups without your permission.

To get rid of this problem, head to Yahoo Group E-Mail Preferences and switch “Allow Direct Adds” to “No.” It’s not just Yahoo though; Google Groups does the same thing. The default option is “Allow group managers to directly add me to their groups.” I don’t think so! To change this, go to Google Groups Manage your Membership and click the box for “Do not allow group managers to directly add me to their groups.”

Now back to my real mistake. I went to the Yahoo Group site to unsubscribe from it. Guess what happened? That’s right: It grabbed my password and all my friends in my Yahoo Mail address list started getting spam.

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