How To Thwart Daniel van Niekerk and Kaymu News

April 10th, 2015
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No, Daniel van Niekerk is not some malware or virus. He is the infamous guy whose emails keep finding their way in the mail boxes of a bunch of folks I know. This evening I found myself having to respond to a good number of frustrated friends with one describing Daniel van Niekerk’s importunate actions as a “bad rash that won’t go away!”

The issue of unsolicited emails that keep coming seem to be wide-scale in my network. A few days ago I saw my friend Albert Mucunguzi together with a bunch of other techies on I-NETWORK post about a certain Kaymu News whose emails they kept receiving even after unsubscribing.

In the case of Daniel, he is a self proclaimed “Africa’s most sought after Financial Advisor. Retirement and offshore specialist. Financial Advisor in Uganda”. I usually have no qualms with such such ostentatious titles. Hello Ugandan social media “gurus”!

email_marketing_and_spamI digress! Back to the Issue at hand. Daniel has continued to send anyone he can reach, his unsolicited financial advice and other things of the sort via email. Once you become accessible to him, his emails keep finding their way to your inbox. How do you put a stop to this and other cases like the reported Kaymu news subscription issue? Below, I make an attempt at sharing a few tips that could be helpful in dealing with unsolicited emails and spam in general.

I’ve never met Mr. van Niekerk and am sure he’s a great guy and good financial advisor. Just that I find his marketing techniques somewhat wanting. So, though I use him and Kaymu News as an example, the following should apply to all sorts of unwanted emails ending up in your inbox.

Blacklist the Email address:

Be a NINJA like Raymond Reddington and blacklist the bloody address and let your email platform act like your own FBI. This method is ideal if the emails are sent to your work address or one under a privated domain [e.g user@example.co.ug]. The simplest way to accomplish this is by right clicking on the subject or sender’s name, one of the options should be “blacklist”. Alternatively, use your favourite search engine to find out how to do it for your specific email client. For non techies reading this, promise to take the IT guy for lunch and ask him how blacklisting an address works (You’re welcome, IT guy)!

Create a filter:

Gmail has a good feature where you can create filters and not be bothered by emails of this kind. Go to settings>>Filters and create a new one. Assuming you already know the offender’s email address, create a filter for all communications emanating from that address and then select the action as “delete”. Every time an email comes in from that address, it will end up in your trash folder which gets emptied periodically. Magic!

gmail_filter_settings

Linkedin Loophole:

You have blacklisted the chap, created a filter but are still receiving emails! It is probably what I call the linkedin Loophole. Before I proceed, you just might want to double check your filter settings. You could have added only the email address, go a step further and add a name or keywords that you associate with the offender.

When linkedin was taking shape in Uganda, chances are that you accepted a connection request from the offender — and he now has the ability to reach your inbox without necessarily having your email address.

Option one is to change your linkedin email settings so that you do not receive such emails. Option two, the harsher one I might add, is to remove that connection. Navigate to that person’s linkedin profile and click on the small drop-down arrow next to endorse and click on “remove connection”. For purposes of illustration, I am using my friend Colin as a guinea pig. (He LOVES screenshots and will hopefully not mind this one below).

colin_asiimwe_linkedin

Linkedin Groups:

You are not a linkedin connection with someone but he keeps filling up your inbox with unsolicited emails! Chances are that you belong to the same group(s) on Linked — specifically, a group created by this guy! Meaning he is able to send mass “updates” to all members, you inclusive! Solutions: Change email settings for that group or leave the group.

There are of course several ways to deal with unsolicited mails and spam that I am too lazy to dwell on right now. If you use your preferred search engine, you will find a ton of information. Sometimes you will find yourself subscribed to some newsletter or mailing list, scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe. If for some reason, you are still getting the emails, try the suggested methods. Also, be careful with that unsubscribe button! You have received a suspicious email from Bank of America with address: xxxx@bankofamerica.org and at the bottom you find: “unsubscribe”… Ayaaa! Run! Do NOT click! blacklist and move on!

Should you have other tips on how to deal with unsolicited emails and spam in general, I look forward to reading your experience in the comments below.


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Posted in: Blog, Ramblings