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  1. #1

    Email PIN - to protect kids

    Hi All

    As you know, there is tons of spam out there. How can we help protect our kids from receiving such junk?

    Well, I was thinking that perhaps email accounts could be designated as either "PIN-protected" or "non-PIN-protected".

    For kids, you would set up PIN-protected email accounts. What this means is that all incoming mail to a PIN-protected email account would have to include the PIN, or else it would be deleted automatically from the mail server by the email program.

    All that would have to be added to any email client is an extra field to enter the PIN.

    Also, PIN-protected email accounts would not be identified as such to any outside entity. The sender would have to know ahead of time that it was a PIN-protected email account and to enter the PIN.

    For example, let's say Little Johnnie has 6 friends at school. He gives his Email PIN to his 6 friends. When his friends send him email, they must include Little Johnnie's Email PIN in the Email PIN field, or else their email is deleted by Little Johnnie's email program when Little J checks his email. It's pretty straightforward.

    The Email PIN could be changed in case spammers figured it out. Little J would then have to update his friends with the new email PIN.

    So, bottom line is that parents would have an easy way to block unwanted email.

    Now, what about business use of email or email accounts for the parents and other adults? Well, they could use non-PIN-protected email if they wanted to have an account that stayed wide open, as with some business "sales@" or "info@". Not a problem. But, they could also designate some email accounts as PIN-protected when they might not need wide open exposure for an email account. This way, you could set up "public" email accounts and "private" email accounts pretty easily as your needs determined.

    Well...whatcha think?

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    But what would stop little Johnnie from putting his PIN in every adult mailing list subscribtion page he could get his little hands on. You are assuming that little Johnnie WANTS to be protected from receiving junk. I doubt that.

    Also little Johnnies' friends, being the little brats that they are, could do all sorts of things once THEY know little johnnies PIN code.

    In any case you would have to convince the industry leader (... that being Microsoft with their Outlook express) to include such a feature in the next release of their version.

    And I fear that will only happen if they are obligated to do so by a new law.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Well i mean there are email accounts you don't get spam so just get one of those.
    Professor of crime at St Andrews university.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    New Hampshire
    I think this isn't a bad Idea. The pin, afterall, could just be in the subject field. Which would negate the need for software support. You'd just need to make a change on the mail server perhaps. Now how well will it work? Well pilgrim is correct in one respect. If little johnny is a pr0n freak or his friends are evil then the whole system is busted. At the same time it stops all unsolicited email from reaching little J boy and that would be an improvement.
    When you say "I wrote a program that crashed Windows", people just stare at
    you blankly and say "Hey, I got those with the system, *for free*".
    -- Linus Torvalds

  5. #5
    Yeah, I know that it could be gotten around and even abused by some little brats, but what I'm trying to do is "popularize" some sort of security method.

    Sure, I know that there are certain ways to block this or that and stuff, but how many average users actually know how to implement them? Of all the typical users that I know, I can't think of more than a handful who could even figure out how to use the existing blocking methods.

    If, however, they stared at an "Email PIN" field every time they created an email, it could become a useful tool that, in general, cuts back on weasel spammers.

    We'll see...

    Thanks for all your comments.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    How about little Jonny's email program rejects emails that aren't from the email address of his 6 friends (which would be in his address book - so programs already have this functionality)? Much simpler, as a spammer obviously isn't going to forge the email address of little johnny friends, and no faffing about with PINs.

  7. #7
    Just install SpamAssassin

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