Sunday, July 24, 2011

How to Block Spam

SPAM has become the bane of email users throughout the world.  Unsolicited emails, often about unsavory topics and occasionally linked to viruses and spyware, are annoying and a waste of your time.

Here are some tips for reducing the amount of email spam you receive:

1. Many spammers gather email addresses from discussion forums. Avoid including your email address in any discussion forum postings.  When it is unavoidable put your address in a format that will be difficult for computers to use, for example by using an image containing your email address.  While somewhat less effective you can use a format like "yourname at gmail dot com".

2. Whenever you provide your email address to a vendor specify that you do not wish to receive any emails.

3. Any legitimate vendor who is sending you unwanted emails will honor your unsubscribe request. Just click the unsubscribe link in their email.  They should comply with your request within 10 days, as required by law.

4. Spam filters can be tricky. Almost all email services have some type of spam filter.  They usually have multiple sensitivity settings.  If too many spam emails are getting through your spam filter increase the filter sensitivity.  The downside of increasing the sensitivity of your spam filter is the possibility that it will mistake some valid emails for spam.  You will need to check your spam folder occasionally for erroneously filed emails.  Some spam filters also allow you to exclude a specific spammer's email address or exclude emails from a whole domain.  In some cases this technique can allow you to exclude all emails from specific countries.

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Other tips for decreasing email spam?  Please feel free to use the comment area below to let us know your thoughts.

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