Ten Tips to Stop Spam
What most annoys Internet users? The answer is a four letter word: spam, those obnoxious, unsolicited e-mail messages touting get rich quick schemes, miracle diets, amazing beauty products and pornographic pleasures. Unlike paper junk mail, which senders pay for, spammers pay almost nothing to e-mail millions of their offensive messages. It's your Internet Service Provider and ultimately you that have to bear the cost. AOL, MSN, Gmail, Yahoo! and other e-mail providers try to filter spam before it reaches your mailbox, but their efforts are only partially effective.
Some countries have laws against spam and some spammers have been fined for their actions, but the practice continues. In fact, it's increasing. Why, you may wonder, when spammers are universally despised? Because it works. Sending e-mail in bulk is so cheap that even if only a handful of people respond, there's a profitable payoff for the spammer.
Unfortunately, spam is here to stay. That doesn't mean you have to be an innocent victim. Here's how to fight back:1.Protect your e-mail address.
Spammers either buy lists of e-mail addresses or use software programs that mine the addresses from the Internet. If your address is posted in discussion groups, websites, chat rooms, blogs, social networking sites, etc., the chances are that it will end up on one or more of these lists. Only post your address publicly when absolutely necessary.
If you have to post your address, you can fool the mining software by writing it this way: professor(at)learnthenet.com. Instruct people who want to e-mail you to replace (at) with the @ sign.2.Set up multiple e-mail accounts.
If you do participate regularly in online activities where you post your address, then set up another e-mail account. Only give it to close friends and family.3.Filter out spam.
Many e-mail programs, such as Outlook, have built-in tools that block messages sent from certain addresses or that filter messages based on keywords you define. To learn how these features work, check the online help files for your e-mail software.4.Use anti-spam software.
You can install special software designed to eliminate spam. Some work by matching incoming messages against a list of known spammers; others block messages that don't match a pre-approved list of acceptable addresses.
Most e-mail programs now have built-in spam filters. If yours doesn't, download and test drive the latest anti-spam programs at Download.com.5.Don't respond.
Spammers continue their pernicious practice because it's effective. Help stomp it out by boycotting them. Don't buy their products regardless of how enticing the offers may be.
Some clever spammers include instructions at the bottom of the message on how to remove your name from their list. The worse thing you can do is to reply. Why? Because this tells the spammer that you read your mail and that your address is valid. The result? Even more junk mail!