Basics of Preventing Spam

To combat the growing problem of junk mail, there are a few basic rules you need to follow By using these few simple you can dramatically cut the amount of spam you see in your inbox, and reading your email can return to the pleasure it was intended to be.

Keeping your email address from spammers

Though this might seem obvious, it is much harder than you imagine, especially if you use the internet quite a lot. If you subscribe to a mailing list, take part in an online discussion or have your own website then your address is at risk. Once spammers have your address, half the battle is lost, and you will always be on the defensive.

Whenever you post a message to a mailing list or discussion board, your email address is very likely to end up online and available to spammers, so don't use your main email address for these, but use a throw-away address. Check the discussion boards before posting to see if they hide posters addresses. If they don't then try and find a discussion board that does.

If you have your own website, then make sure you don't put your main email address on the site such that spammers can easily harvest it. Try using a contact form instead, or hide your address inside and image or use javascript to obscure it.

And most importantly, never ever reply to spam, even just clicking on the unsubscribe link, as all this does is tell spammers that your address is valid, and they will start sending your even more.

Automatically filter your email

Most email programs have features now to help filter email that looks like spam. Some however are more effective than others. Often spam doesn't even appear to be addressed to you, and so any email that is not addressed to you can be binned automatically.

The best spam filters work by reading the email message, and using complicated mathematical algorithms to decide if it looks like junk mail or not. Two of the highest recommended email programs for their spam filtering are Mozilla and Thunderbird. These are both free programs that can let you take control of your inbox again.

Use throw away addresses

Sometimes there is nothing you can do to stop spammers from getting your email address if you want to use the internet. However if you use two email addresses, one for friends and family, and another for internet activities that could result in spammers getting your address, then as soon as the throw-away address starts getting spam, just throw it away, and create a new one.

You may have to create a new throw away address a few times a year, but all of your friends and family can carry on using your private address without problem. The throw away address can either be from a free provider such has hotmail or yahoo, or if your isp lets you have multiple email addresses, why not use these.

Related Links
Filtering Flagged Spam in Outlook Express
How Spammers Find Email Addresses
Reducing Spam

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