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FAQ

Got questions? We’ve got answers. Feel free to peruse our FAQ. If there’s anything else you’d like to know about our products or our company, don’t hesitate to contact us.

What is Vanquish?
Vanquish is a cutting edge developer of email security products and the inventor of Personal Value Control™. Vanquish has created a complete line of email security products for every type of email user. Vanquish has tightly integrated multiple technologies to create a complete, self-learning, personal email defense system. Additionally, we’ve developed Personal Value Control™. This email enhancement is setting the standard of delivering the unprecedented power of economics directly to the consumer. Briefly stated – The consumer can now command the power to instantly fine a commercial sender, thus removing the economic incentive to spam.

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What is Personal Value Control™?
Personal Value Control(tm) is an email feature enhancement offered by leading ISPs and web email services. It gives the consumer the ultimate upper hand over commercial senders that don't respect their time and resources. Commercial overload is a problem created by free access to the consumer, a problem where the user is spending endless amounts of time and energy cleaning up.

Now the consumer has the ability to place a cash value on their access. (Not a fee, but a risk of a fee.) This value is under the complete control of the consumer as it should be. Once the consumer holds this power it is extremely unlikely that a spammer will take this risk if they suspect they will invite a punishment. In short - Email remains fast and free under the terms determined by the consumer.

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What is spam?
For many email users, spam is a sensitive and emotionally charged topic. Many individuals tend to define spam differently. To some, spam is any message that is both unsolicited and commercial. To others, it is messages that are offensive.

We believe a more accurate definition of spam is any email that you personally wish you had not received. Perhaps you were insulted or offended by the content - or more likely, the downloading and inspection of it was a waste of your time.

Some would say this is a well-intended definition but impossible to defend. Not so when the recipient is empowered to take immediate and effective recourse. Continue reading and you will see just how easy it is.

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Why do senders spam?
Spamming is a commercial for-profit activity. They are either attempting to sell to you or steal from you. The reason you are getting these messages over and over again is due to the fact that sending commercial advertising via email is virtually free – no printing or distribution cost. Their costs are the same whether they are sending 1 thousand or 1 million messages, therefore there is no financial incentive for them to remove you from their mailing list. To make matters worse they not only send you their messages again and again, but they also sell your address to other unscrupulous marketers as a potential consumer. As you can see this quickly can (and has) multiplied to out-of-control proportions.

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How did people avoid spam before?
Before Vanquish, defense against spam fell into 7 categories:

1. Avoid publishing or circulating your email address. If distribution is necessary, disguise it so that 'robots' are less likely to harvest it from the web and newsgroups _ joe-nospam (at) aol.com. Remove "-nospam" and type "@".

This annoys legitimate senders, because they cannot click a link or type it as it as printed. Eventually spammers get the address by surreptitiously harvesting the Cc lines of senders that included your address at some time in the past.

2. Use the filtering feature of your email software to search for traits that are likely to indicate spam. This requires ongoing maintenance and it is an imperfect art. Spammers know the words that trigger filters, and legitimate email may be discarded without your knowledge.

3. Redirect incoming mail through a third-party for filtering. Filters compromise privacy by allowing your mail to be inspected before you see it. They miss much of the spam and often block important messages. Finally, filters apply a form of community censorship to a decision that should remain personal. Others decide what you should see.

4. Compare all senders against your address list of friends. This is a good technique for verifying that mail is from an existing contact. But often, we need to receive mail from a stranger or old friend - especially in business, when a new client makes contact. Also, if an existing contact changes their email address this technique may block their message.

5. Accept messages only from verified 'sent from' addresses. This technique presumes that anonymity is the problem. It is not. There are legitimate reasons to send or receive messages without disclosing your address. Furthermore, disclosure doesn't ensure that a message will be desirable.

6. Accept messages only within a trusted community. Like a Good Housekeeping™ seal, some programs impose a community standard of decency and behavior: (a) As with filters services, it assumes that you subscribe to the same standards and tastes as everyone else. (b) It sets of a system of "courts" and to arbitrate, judge and punish transgressions. It is inherently flawed (see next method)

7. Pass legislation that criminalizes the sending of spam. Although well intended, legal solutions are wholly ineffective. Email can be diverted outside of legal jurisdiction. Additionally, blatant scams contain disclaimers that are impossible to refute. E.g. "You are getting this message because you or someone you know has requested..." or "Here is a reply to your request form which was received on..."

Moreover, the burden should not be on the recipient to refute sender familiarity. With Vanquish, senders risk something tangible when directing messages at strangers.

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Must I avoid placing my email address in ads, newsgroups or on a business card?
No. With Vanquish, your email address can be widely disseminated. For example, Fred writes an article on classic Chevy engines for an automotive magazine. The byline shows his regular email address. Fred is not worried that the address will attract unsolicited bulk mail. He is confident that he will only receive mail from readers who share his passion for classic engines or closely related interests.

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Is Vanquish a filter?
Only in part - Filters alone are imperfect and most require ongoing maintenance. Many filters compromise security & free speech, delay email and accidentally remove desirable messages.

The anti spam industry is built on the idea that a central (non-personal) technology can filter email by reading it before it is delivered to your mailbox. By looking for traits of commercial, sexual, or bulk mail content, it presumes that an automated ‘nanny’ can accurately sanitize your inbox. But filtering programs are often tricked by clever spammers resulting in spam getting past the filter and worse yet, the filter capturing messages that you would have liked to receive. More details...

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How does Vanquish stop spam?
Once you download Vanquish - or your ISP or mail provider offers the service - you can set Vanquish in three progressively vigilant modes of protection. In its most lenient mode, Vanquish employs a tightly integrated set of Smart Self Learning technologies to learn your likes (and dislikes) to control spam based on your personal needs. It also stops viruses and phishing attacks before they reach your computer.

In its most strict mode of operation, Vanquish allows you to send a shockwave to an annoying commercial sender that might work their way into your inbox. In this mode of protection, automated bulk sender who wish to send mail to you, will be informed they are required to guarantee your satisfaction by including a penalty button in their message. This guarantee gives you the ability and authority to instantly let the sender know their email is not welcome by clicking the "Penalty Button." When the penalty button has been triggered, the sender's cash guarantee is instantly debited (and transferred to you.) After informing the sender you now possess this ability, it is unlikely they will include this guarantee unless they are certain you will welcome their message. - That’s consumer power, pure and simple.

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The Button, the Bonded Sender, your Guarantee

The Sender Bonded “Penalty Button” in your email is an indication that the sender guarantees you will not be annoyed by their message. It is a certified “cash” guarantee within the email. (We call this the “Personal Message Guarantee™”). This guarantee is for you, not your ISP or some third party acting in your behalf. It appears within the message as a special button that gives you total control. You can redeem the guarantee, or ignore it and it will expire. If you let it expire the cash is returned to the sender. Think of it as a refundable postage stamp. You decide if the postage is collected or returned. If it is collected, it is yours.

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What is a Personal Message Bond?
Simply stated; a “satisfaction guarantee” backed with cash. The sender includes it to demonstrate his confidence that the recipient will find the message desirable.

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How can I be certain the Bond and message are legitimate?
Vanquish uses digital certificates to prevent a hacker from tampering with the message or assuming the privileges of a 'bonded' sender. We can not disclose - nor do we even know - the sender identities.

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Why should I request Message Guarantees?
When you request a message guarantee, you are turning the table on spammers by shifting the cost of undesirable email to the spammer. It is not whether you know the sender that really matters (sometimes, email from a new contact is important); but whether the sender knows enough about you to risk money.

Requesting a guarantee signals unrecognized senders that your time and resources are valuable and that senders should carefully consider their list of recipients before sending their message. The cash guarantee is small (typically 5¢) but an automated spam mailer sending millions of messages a day will not take this request lightly.

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Must everyone that sends to me guarantee (or bond) their message?
No. You can select from three levels of defense, each with an escalating level of protection. Configured in its most trusting (default) mode, a guarantee is not required by:

  • Anyone in your address book.
  • Anyone that you have written to.
  • Anyone replying to a message "Subject:" that originated from you.
  • Any Website that you have requested information from.
  • Any message your Personal Smart Filter approves for delivery.
In fact, in the above examples, the sender will not even be aware that Vanquish is protecting your mailbox.

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How does the guarantee work and is there a cost per message?
Senders that wish to include a guarantee in their email message are assured of immediate delivery and no added cost compared to the way they use email today. There is no added cost per message as the guarantee expires automatically in 3 days – provided the recipient does not penalize the sender within that time. That’s the whole point. It’s a satisfaction guarantee (not a payment) from the sender proving respect for the recipient’s time, resources and desires.

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Must senders deposit cash in advance?
No. Vanquish includes up to 50 (5cent) guarantee coupons (depending upon the product purchased) with every new account. Vanquish users may then use them as they wish. They are good for as long as the account is open and operational, and coupons are reusable over and over again. Also, once a sender has proven their respect, in that you have not penalized them and you have replied to their contact, there is no longer any need for either of you to use your guarantees to communicate. This is called Earned Trust.
Now, a non-commercial user needn't deposit funds to send a large number of messages each day.

There are only two situations in which a sender may need additional message guarantees: Senders who are penalized often, and theoretically, a spammer could also purchase extra guarantee coupons, but this is very unlikely. This sentence isn’t structured correctly. Why? Because the penalties they would incur would greatly increase the cost of their marketing campaign. “Remember” – Spammers do this to make money, but now the tables have turned.

Vanquish keeps email free for everyone but the spammer.

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Are my guarantee coupons refundable?
Yes. Each new Vanquish account includes guarantee coupons representing $.50 to $2.50 depending on the product version and ISP agreement. If a user is unhappy with Vanquish within the first 30 days of service, the initial coupons are refunded along with the entire product price or the product - less any penalties assessed by email recipients.

It’s unlikely that you will ever need to purchase additional coupons. But if you do, the coupons are refundable forever.

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Who gets the penalty money?
You do! Spam affects every link in the chain between spammer and recipient. But you are affected the most.

When a guarantee coupon is redeemed the funds reimburse you for the abuse of your time, desires, and Internet resources. Now, the spammer, in the future, will know that sending you unwanted messages costs them real money, and that’ll be the end of their blast of unsolicited messages to you and anyone else with the power of the Vanquish Button.

We return the fun to email – Free for you, free for your friends, costly for those with no respect. It’s really that simple!

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