<a href=" http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=197008209">Spam volume is at its highest peak ever</a>, 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.

Jennifer Bosavage, Editor In Chief, Solution Providers for Retail

February 24, 2007

2 Min Read

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 [email protected], 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.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Bosavage

Editor In Chief, Solution Providers for Retail

Writing and editing from the IT metropolis that is Fairfield County, Conn., Jen is Editor In Chief of Solution Providers For Retail. In her role, she oversees all editorial operations of the site, including engaging VARs to share their expertise within the community. She has written for IT professionals for more than 20 years, with expertise in covering issues concerning solution providers, systems integrators, and resellers.

Jen most recently was Senior Editor at CRN. There, she was in charge of the publication's editorial research projects, including: Solution Provider 500, Fast Growth 100, Women of the Channel, and Emerging Vendors, among many others. She launched the online blog, "Channel Voices," and often wrote on career issues facing IT professionals in her blog, "One Year to a Better Career."

Jen began her tech journalism career at Electronic Buyer News, where she covered the purchasing beat. (That was so long ago that blue LEDs were big news.) Starting as copy editor, she worked her way up to Managing Editor before moving to VARBusiness. At VARBusiness, she was Executive Editor, leading a team of writers that won the prestigious Jesse Neal award for editorial excellence.

Jennifer has been married for 22 years and has two wonderful kids (even the teenager). To adults in her hometown, she is best known for her enormous Newfoundland dog; to high schoolers, for her taco nights.

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