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Spam – Why Do I Get It?
I love Spam! I grew up on it. Fry it up in a
skillet – put it between 2 pieces of Chicago rye bread - mmm. Hey -
I’m not talking about that kind of SPAM!
I’m talking about the spam
that arrives in your Inbox every time you check your email. That kind of
spam isn’t so inviting!
Can you do anything about
Yes – there are some things
you can do about it. Here is a short list why you get spam in the first place.
Your email address is
placed on web pages
You join news groups,
online forums, or sign up for free items on the internet
You visit chat rooms
sometimes called IRC (Internet Rely Chat)
Your company stationery,
business cards or brochures have your email address on them.
Your email is listed in
internet yellow Pages (or white pages).
You give your email
address out to your friends.
Well, I guess it’s time to
disconnect your computer and crawl into a dark cave. Wait – don’t do
it yet! Some suggestions are coming up how to cut down on receiving spam.
First, how do spammers get
your email address?
Well, the list is huge – But I will give some of the top ways spammers work.
Spammers have programs
that “spider” through web pages looking for email addresses. They look at
the source code of a webpage seeking out the mailto: HTML tag. If your
address is on a web page, it may be found be a spider.
When you fill out a form
and put in your email address - or you sign a guestbook, you are putting you
address out for spammers to pick it up. Some companies actually sell their
lists or some lists are published on the internet.
Posting to UseNet with
your email address. UseNet is an Internet-based bulletin board that allows
reading and posting of "news" in various "newsgroups." There are thousands
of newsgroups covering a myriad of topics.
From joining mailing
lists. Spammers try to get entire mailing lists of subscribers from
servers. Believe it or not, some mail servers will give them out when they
receive a request.
There are people finder
sites (white pages and yellow pages) that now have email directories.
Sometimes your email address gets registered in these. For example -
HotMail will add E-mail addresses to BigFoot by default, making new
addresses available to the public.
Some companies sell their
email list of addresses to make extra money.
Well, there’s even more, but
these are the main ways that spammers get email addresses.
So, how do you solve the
Spam email problem?
1. The first answer is
simple: Do not give your email address out over the internet to anyone.
If you do, you are at risk of starting to receive spam.
2. Use a separate email
address for registering at web sites that require an email address. I have
a Hotmail account, a Yahoo account, a Gmail account, and several other accounts
that I use when I go to a site that requires putting in an email address.
Here’s a list of the top 10
free email services.
3. Use spam filters.
There are some good free ones and some good commercial ones. Here is one of the
best free ones.
4. Use disposal email
address services. Read more about that here.
The top 10 disposal email
address services are here.
5. Use Spam filtering
tools. Here is more information about different services. There are a lot
of options here.
6. Got a Mac? Here
are Mac spam fighting tools.
Most internet service
providers provide a spam filtering service for their customers. Some
ISPs are better than others. If you aren’t satisfied with the filtering
your ISP provides, it may be time to switch providers.
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