Spam Safety Tips

By TopTenReviews Contributor
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Spam can be extremely frustrating to some individuals while others don't seem to be bothered by it. If you are one many trying to reduce the amount of spam in your inbox, the following guidelines can help along with a solid spam filter.

Encrypt email addresses

When you first create your email address, come up with a combination of letters and numbers that are cryptic in nature—something you couldn't find in a dictionary. For example, instead of using sally, or sally1, or sallysmith, choose: s18all56y. This number/letter combination is inconvenient for humans to remember but it provides more of a challenge for the spammer's programs to randomly send Spam to your email address.

Use Fake email addresses

On many websites, you are required to enter an email address into a standard form before you can proceed through the website. If you don't feel comfortable giving out your email address to the particular website, leave a fake email address.

Guard your email addresses

Treat your email address the same way you do most of your personal information. Don't give it out to anyone you don't trust. If you are not sure you can trust a particular website, read their privacy policy to see what they will do with your email address.

Don't open Spam

If the Spam is HTML (one of those attractive graphic emails) and you open it, the graphic is pulled from the spammer's server. Your computer informs the spammer that your email address is in use.

Don't Reply

Remember those pesky telemarketers or the unrelenting door-to-door salesman? Once you answer the telephone or door, they know you are home and are a challenge to get rid of. The same is true of spammers. Once you reply to a Spam email, you have just confirmed for the spammer the legitimacy of your email address.

Don't post your email address

Once your email address has been placed on a website (personal or corporate) or entered into an online guest book, newsgroup, contact list, ezine, chat room, or a host of other online activities, you have just invited a spammer to take your email address. Spammers "harvest" your emails through programs called spiders, crawlers, and bots. These programs scour the web for email addresses to be used in the spammers future email campaigns.

Opt out

When you are purchasing something online or signing up for a service or promotion, be sure to opt-out on any additional services or promotions you don't want cluttering your inbox.

Don't unsubscribe

Honorable marketers will unsubscribe your email address if you request it, but distinguishing between legitimate companies and those who are not is a challenge. Check their privacy policy and complaint procedures. Submitting and unsubscribe request can be used against you—your email address may be confirmed by or sold to spammers. When this happens, your Spam will increase when you thought you'd submitted an unsubscribe request.

Use a Spam filter

No matter how thorough your Spam prevention measures, you will still receive Spam-accept this reality. Even though the perfect Spam filter doesn't exist, there are many good Spam filters in the marketplace that can help reduce the Spam you receive.

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