Five Simple Ways to Combat Spam
SPAM! When we talk to any of our clients, nine times out of ten they will insist that their greatest headache is the amount of spam that floods their email boxes on a daily basis.
Unfortunately, if your email address is already on the mailing lists of any major spam offenders out there, getting yourself removed can be near impossible and in the short term, your only real source of relief will be to install a quality spam filter, preferably at the ISP level so that the offending messages are filtered before ever hitting your email server or inbox.
To prevent spreading your email address around even further, or if you’ve been lucky enough not to have your address already placed in the sights of the evil spammers, here’s five simple ways to keep your spam intake at a minimum.
1. Never make any purchases from an unsolicited email. Even if whatever they’re selling seems to be an attractive and legitimate purchase, you have to consider how they got your email address in the first place. According to ICAN (anti-spam) regulations, the simple fact that they sent you the email without your prior permissions classifies it as spam. And if they spammed you to begin with, by you making a purchase from them, you’re not only confirming that your address is valid, but that you’re also a prime target for future spam offers. In which case you can be sure that your email address will be sold throughout the spammer community as if it were gold!
2. Never reply, click the unsubscribe link or click any link in a spam email. By replying or clicking the link in the message, you’re only confirming for the spammer that they’ve got a valid, working email address for you. This is valuable information for a spammer. Don’t give it to them.
3. Disable your preview pane. The utilities in use by spammers track who their messages were sent to, who opened the message and who clicked the links… all information used to help them strengthen the reliability of their list. If your preview pane displays their email message, this will report back to their reporting utility that you opened the email.
Different email applications have different methods of disabling the preview pane. Our clients for our computer support in Fort Myers primarily use Outlook, where you’d simply go to View / Reading Pane / Off.
4. Use the BCC option when emailing multiple recipients. If a spammer were to intercept your email, all of the addresses on your list would be viewable. Protect your friends and colleagues by keeping their addresses hidden from view.
5. Use a secondary (or third) email address when making web purchases, posting to newsgroup lists or participating in forums. Spammers will collect email addresses from anywhere they can be collected. Keep your primary address for contact only with trusted, personal contacts and use a separate public address, such as a Gmail or Yahoo address for your other web activities.
No one is safe from the evils of the spamming world. Use some basic strategies to keep your email inbox as clean as possible.