Basic Rules for Dealing with Spam
- Do not respond to spam. Any kind of response, whether you intend
to unsubscribe or complain, informs the sender that the address is valid and a real
person is reading the email.
- Do not click "unsubscribe me" at the bottom of most spam. All this
does is confirm your address with the spam source. Once they know your address is
valid, your volume of spam increases.
- Do not buy anything offered via spam. Doing so simply supports
the spam industry, and an increasing percentage of spam is fraudulent. If you're
really interested in the product that you see, try buying it from a related web
site, but don't click on any links in the email.
- Report child pornography. By law, you are obligated to report any
spam containing child pornography. If you receive a child porn email, save it until
you have contacted one of these agencies:
- Report/complain about spam. Is your InBox crowded with messages
promising get-rich-quick schemes, vacation prizes, or miracle diets? You can put
a stop to spam, by forwarding it to the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC investigates
these emails for possible law-enforcement action. For more information on email
schemes, see OnGuardOnline.gov.
- Filter incoming email. Black listing and white listing are two
types of filtering.
- The most common is a black list, which blocks incoming mail that matches a list
of emails that you specify as spam. Some black list programs like
MailWasher also have a "friend" list where you can specify addresses that
should never be blocked, even by the black list.
- A white list blocks ALL incoming email, unless you've specifically listed the email
address in your white list (kind of like the friend list mentioned above). White
lists are riskier to use, as you will likely end up blocking an important email
from a source you didn't think of, but they do a more thorough job of nabbing spam.
- Spam Motel. Moteling is an innovative way of combating spam. A
few companies, such as
spammotel.com, offer a free service that generates bogus email addresses
to use with your web transactions. Email sent to the bogus address is forwarded
by the service to your real email account. When you begin to see junk emails coming
in via the bogus address, you can delete that address and assign a new bogus address
- Use the delete key. Simply delete that pesky email.