Email spam is one of the most insidious side effects of the Internet revolution and has only gotten worse over time. If you are sick of dealing with unsolicited junk mail clogging your email account, follow these steps and apply some common sense and you can help slow the flood of spam down to just a trickle. Whether you get 3 to 4 a day or 30 to 40, sorting through and deleting unsolicited emails can become a gigantic waste of time and energy - not to mention an affront to morals and family values. But don't think for a second that you need to put up with thousands of junk emails clogging your inbox.
If you have a business website, do not put an email address on your website. Instead, you might want to use a Form so that your email address is hidden. However, some spammers use special software that looks at the HTML code hidden in the form to steal your email address, so using a form by itself is not always a total solution. Better yet, use a free Form processor so that your email address is never even in the HTML coding on your pages. These are available online and can be found with a search.
If you do not have a business website and are getting bombarded in your personal email account, the following tips will serve both you and business users of email.
Never reply to spam and ask to be unsubscribed. It is a scam. When you unsubscribe it tells them that your email address is accurate, which just keeps you on the list. Note: many legitimate emails newsletters and mailing lists use automated unsubscribe links at the bottom of their emails and you can use these to get off of mailing lists. Just make sure you know the real from the scam.
Use anti-spam software on your own PC to filter spam as it comes into your email system. You still receive the spam but it gets filtered to a Junk Mail or Bulk Mail folder and segregates the spam from the legitimate email. Most anti-spam filters need to be trained to identify real mail or spam mail so you will have to occasionally tell the filter that something is not spam that it inadvertently put into the Junk Mail folder. Many of these anti-spam filters work on the principle of White Lists and Black Lists. White Lists are legitimate email addresses that you want to receive email from and Black Lists are spammer email addresses that you do not want to receive email from. Learn how to train your anti-spam software and it will work wonders for you.
You can actually filter out offensive emails by a single word. This prevents many offensive adult related emails from reaching the eyes of your children and you!
Check to see if your Internet service provider or hosting company has anti-spam technology in place to catch spam before it even hits your Inbox. Be careful, though, because sometimes these filters are over-zealous and you have to train it to accept emails from mailing lists that you have subscribed to.
Be crafty when filling out forms that ask for your e-mail address. Many web forms ask only for your name and email address. Put in a series of letters such as Swseqw for your name. Then set up a filter so emails from that newsletter or form will arrive in a separate folder if the email contains that fake name. If that e-mail turns out to be spam, set your mail program to delete all e-mails that come in with the fake name.