Infrastructure // PC & Servers
Commentary
2/24/2007
08:41 AM
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Keeping Junk E-Mail Out Of Your Inbox

Spam volume is at its highest peak ever, Marshal's Threat Research and Content Engineering Team notes in their latest report. Spam has increased 280% since just last October. If the surge continues apace, 90% of all e-mail will be junk. That's a whole lot of unwanted e-mail.

Spam volume is at its highest peak ever, Marshal's Threat Research and Content Engineering Team notes in their latest report. Spam has increased 280% since just last October. If the surge continues apace, 90% of all e-mail will be junk. That's a whole lot of unwanted e-mail.Spam isn't just a nuisance; it's also a time waster and a productivity reducer for business. Of course, it's inexpensive for the spammers to send, and they may reap significant financial benefits from selling their "wares." However, a good number of those unsolicited messages are scams, which, again, wastes the time and money of the unsuspecting.

In addition to installing and using spam filters, you can protect yourself from this sea of garbage. Here are some tips I've compiled to help keep the growing wave of unwanted messages from flooding your inbox.

  • Spammers use special programs that extract e-mail addresses from Web sites and Usenet postings. To avoid ending on a spammer's mailing list when you post to a Web forum or a newsgroup, you can obscure your e-mail address by inserting something obvious into it. So if your e-mail address is xyz@yahoo.com, change it to xyz@yah[delete_this]oo.com. Or, try something like this: "xyz at yahoo dot com."
  • Don't reply to spam messages, not even to reply to be "removed." Often the instructions are fake, or they are a way to collect more addresses. Replying confirms to the spammers that your e-mail address is active, and you may receive even more junk mail.
  • Remove your e-mail address from your Web site's pages and offer a Web-based mail form instead. That prevents spammers' robots from harvesting e-mail addresses and putting them on their mailing lists. Contact-Us-Online.com can provide you with such a script free of charge.
  • Don't open spam. Many pieces of spam contain HTML code which will open a connection to a Web server operated by the spammers. When you connect, you have verified that you opened the message. That informs the spammers that they have a good e-mail address, which -- you guessed it -- results in them sending you even more spam. Delete spam without opening it. Therefore, don't use your e-mail program's preview pane. Previewing spam is the same as viewing it.
  • Feel free to print out the list and hang it in your coffee room, hallway , or wherever co-workers get together. The tips can be used at the office and for personal-use computers. The more we can prevent receiving spam, the less incentive the spammers will have to send it. Let's try to prevent that 90% figure from becoming a reality.

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