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TECH TIP:  Control Your Junk Email

 

Are you getting more junk email than personal email?  (Did I hear someone say, “But I love my junk mail.”)

 

More and more sites are requiring you to register your name and email address when you visit their site.  For example, if you visit the Minneapolis Star Tribune (http://www.startribune.com/) and begin surfing their site, you will soon realize that you have to register to access most areas.  It is free but it requires your name and email address.  Same with the New York Times (http://nytimes.com/) and many other news organizations.  Here’s a website that lists ESL sites that require registration:  http://iteslj.org/links/ESL/Websites_Requiring_Registration/

The warning at the top of this page says, “Warning!  Giving your email address may mean that you will receive junk mail.”  They may be good sites, but beware – DON’T give out your personal email address to NO websites!  (Double negative used for emphasis!)

 

Well, there are some easy ways to cut down on junk mail.  Let’s review some of these.

 

A very simple way to cut down on junk mail is to open another email account and every time you visit a website that requires you to give your email address, use this address. Then if you get on junk mail lists, the junk email will go to your “non-personal” account. 

 

If you are using Outlook Express to check your mail (a POP3 email account), your internet service provider (ISP) will give you as many as 5, 6, or even 7 additional FREE email addresses.  Just call them up and ask them for another email address (or 2 or 3).  Use those addresses for the times when you need to provide an email address to register or get services from a website.

 

You can also get free email accounts at sites like Hotmail and Yahoo which you can use as non-personal accounts.  I have a couple of these, plus a couple POP 3 accounts to handle all the sites I visit that require a registration.  I once ordered a pizza on-line from Pizza Hut.  I was required to give my name and email address.  I am now bombarded with emails for special offers from Pizza Hut.  Lucky I used a Hotmail account when I placed my order.

 

If you are already getting junk mail and you want to cut down on it, you can use the filter system in your email program.  If your account is a Hotmail or Yahoo, they have built in filtering which you can activate.  If you use an email program like Outlook Express or Eudora, you can customized the junk mail filters to filter by certain words, or specific email addresses.  In Outlook Express, go to Tools->Message Rules-> Mail and set up the filters using the criteria you select.

 

One last thing – if you are getting junk mail from sites, there is sometimes a link at the bottom of the email telling you if you want to stop receiving these emails to click on this link. Be careful – the unscrupulous ones not only do not take you off the list, but pass your name on to others to be added to their lists.  Instead – just use filters to dispose of these emails.

 

Here’s a site that is dedicated to bypassing compulsory web registration sites:

http://www.bugmenot.com/

 

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Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

E-Mail:    Marshall Adult Education

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