Spam has already become a global epidemic, costing businessesand individuals around the world millions of wasted dollars a year. Some devious and elaborate techniques have been developed by unethical, deceitful, and fraudulent self-serving entities.
Spam is a notoriously difficult issue to tackle because it is so fast moving and dynamic in nature. However, there are a number of things you can do to manage your mailbox.
Before we discuss how to handle SPAM, let take a look at how the SPAMMERS are finding you and your email address. Because sending email is free, spammers do not pay any penalty for sending thousands of emails. The SPAMMERS biggest problem is getting lists of email addresses. Here are the solutions the spammer are using:
How the SPAMMERS are finding you
1) Send SPAM to EVERY COMMON EMAIL NAME.
There are over 500 common names used in the world, ie. Bill, Bob, Jane etc. By adding in a last name initial, these 500 names turn into 13,000 names (500*26). Some SPAMMERS send email to all 13,000 of these names at EVERY DOMAINS NAME, ie. earthlink.net, yahoo.com, artsci.net, moonlink.net etc. Less than 2% of these email ever get to a active mail box. THE SPAMMERS DO NOT CARE. It costs them nothing.
2) Steal Valid email names from people computers. These virus that get attached to some emails, start to take over your machine and looking at your email program and all the addresses you have ever SENT or RECEIVED email from. They then send 'HOME' an email with all your email address data. They look in your mail folders and TRASH. The virus does this all with out you knowing!!!
This means if someone you sent an email to get a virus, YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS is collected and placed on the VALID EMIAL LIST. These lists are often SOLD to hundreds of SPAM houses.
THERE IS NO WAY TO PROTECT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. IF YOU SEND EMAILS TO OTHER PEOPLE, YOUR ADDRESS WILL BE FOUND AND SPAM WILL COME.
What you can do about spam.
1) Use an email program that will filter incoming emails. See below for information on Outlook Express.
A) Have your email program scan all incoming email and place any email in a SPAM FOLDER that comes from someone that is not in your VALID EMAIL LIST. THIS LEAVES ONLY VALID EMAILS IN YOUR INBOX.
You should review the SPAM folder on a regular basis and when you find a valid email, add the Senders email address to your VALID EMAIL LIST (this is often a single key press on most email programs). Trash the rest of the emails in the spam folder.
DON'T open emails unless you need to check them. EMAILS WITH PICTURE and links cause a REPORT that tells the spammer you are a valid email address.
DON'T reply to a spam email or follow any UNSUBSCRIBE instructions. This only validates your email as having a live person. If they do remove your email address, they will probably sell your address as a verified valid address!
2) CHANGE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. Yes this is a bummer. However you can set up a AUTO-RESPONDER on the old address that sends an automatic email to the sender announcing that because of spam you have changed your address and they should call you for the new address. You can then have the emails AUTOMATICALLY trashed, OR you can review them if needed. This is what I did on my old email address of email@example.com. Send an email here to see the auto response email.
One of the spammers called me wanting my new address! I did not give it to them.
CAN YOUR EMAIL PROVIDER (ISP) STOP THE SPAM?
Yes they can, however, then they have control over your email and some VALID email will never get to you. We have tried MANY SPAM Filters and our tech department get more calls from customers complaining about not getting some email, that the calls we get from customers about SPAM.
Microsoft Outlook Express SAPM SOLUTION:
Giving you the power to quickly and easily avoid the hassle of spam, junk mail, and unwanted email. Inbox Protector is a Microsoft Outlook 2000/2002 (XP) and Outlook Express anti spam filter, which scans incoming email, redirecting unwanted junk mail and spam to a separate folder for later inspection if necessary. Allowing you to stop spam email for good.
A full range of settings allows you to customize Inbox Protector to meet your specific needs. Incoming junk mail is categorized into content specific groups, giving you the ability to determine how much of each group you want to filter.
To ensure that newsletters and mailing lists, which may contain email spam related content, are not filtered out as junk mail or spam, you have the ability to keep an ongoing list of senders, which Inbox Protector will recognize as valid. Additionally, you have the option to filter out specific senders, regardless of the email content.