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Internet Family Fun

Spam 101

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Internet Family Fun Home > What You Want to Know About... > Spam 101 > How to Avoid Spam

How to Avoid Spam

Complete diligence is required to decrease the amount of spam that you receive. Here are some common ways to limit the amount of spam that you get.

  1. Be Careful Where You Share Your Email Address
    You need to avoid sharing your email address, especially in places where it will be posted online and it can be spidered by spammers. Many people use an alternative email address to post to places like forums and blogs, such as a Hotmail or Yahoo free email address. You can also use this email address when you order things online so that if you end up getting ads from these companies they will go to that email address and keep your real email address spam free. Another thing to be careful of is when you sign up to check your car insurance and other accounts online. When you do this, be sure to read the terms of service agreement. Often they contain small print that you agree to have your email address shared (sold) with their partners (paid advertisers). I personally will never forget signing up at (my insurance company that I have had for 9 years) and getting tons of advertisements from their partners that was very difficult to stop.
  2. Be Careful What Email You Open
    Many emails come to you in html form and when you open those emails, it will call the images from their server. What spammers do is encode the email address that email was sent to and when the image is called from the server it will verify that your email address is a "live" one. A "live" email address is worth a premium and ripe for selling. To avoid this don't open email where you don't know the sender and be sure to turn off the preview pane on your email program so you don't accidently read the email. This is also good advice to avoid viruses.
  3. Don't Try To Unsubscribe
    If you get an email that you didn't sign up for then don't try to unsubscribe even if there is an unsubscribe link. This will only verify that they have a "live" email address.
  4. Don't Buy
    It's pretty simple. If people didn't buy stuff from spam, the business of spamming would stop. Of course this isn't an immediate solution but if everyone online stopped buying from these kinds of emails, it wouldn't be advantageous for them to advertise in this manner.
  5. Use Filtering
    Many ISPs now offer spam filtering on the email address that they provide you with. Check with your ISP to see if they do. If they don't or you want more protection you can get programs to delete spam. Another option is to manually set up filtering in your email program such as Outlook Express.

Spam 101
Next - Sending Email That Won't Be Caught in Filters
Page 1 - About Spam
Page 2 - Why Spam is Undesirable
Page 3 - How Spammers Operate
Page 4 - How to Avoid Spam
Page 5 - Sending Email That Won't Be Caught in Filters
Page 6 - Don't Put Up With Spam, Report It
Page 7 - Spam Filters

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