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Avoiding Email Spam


Spam now surpasses legitimate emails in numbers sent each year. Many experts predict that Spam could double or triple every twelve months. Spam can be more than an annoyance, time spent dealing with Spam can cost companies thousands of man hours each year.

First, lets take a look at how your email address gets on a Spammers list in the first place. The number one method is email harvesting. There are several software programs that will scan the Internet and harvest email addresses from website's. This in conjunction with some forums, contests and directories among others who sell, trade or simply don't protect your email address make up the bulk of Spam lists.

How can you avoid Spam in the first place. Obfuscate or encrypt email addresses on your website, or better yet, use an email form that will not reveal your address to harvesters (most of you do this already). Use caution when providing your email address online and check the privacy policies of sites where your email address is requested.

Spam filters can help manage Spam, used in combination with email software rules Spam can be whittled down to a minor annoyance avoiding the major barrage that Spam often creates. Each mail program has different ways of setting rules, see your email programs help files for details. If you establish email rules with your mail program be certain to check folders that capture re-routed emails and clear them of spam regularly or you risk running out of space.

Anonymous email addresses or email aliases can be used for safe public posting. These email addresses allow you to cancel and create another account if the original account begins to receive to much Spam. GMail, Yahoo Mail and others can be used to establish a useable email account. Just remember, only use the anonymous account for emails that won't matter if you have to cancel the account.

Another option is disposable email account sites like Mailinator. Mailinator allows you to establish an account on the fly. For example If I wanted to sign up at a sports forum called AmSport I might sign up using the email address ASforum@mailinator.com. Surprise, if you go to mailinator.com and type in ASforum you will see an open account, waiting for emails. There may even be emails in the account. They are not mine. I didn't set up the account. Read the FAQ at Mailinator and you will understand how it all works. Disposable accounts have a few draw backs such as a complete lack of privacy, emails are disposed of after a few hours and you may see odd emails (try typing in sam) if you are not creative with your naming schemes.

These simple steps can substantially reduce the amount of spam that arrives in your in-box and allow you to focus on the emails that are important.

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Tags:   Spam | email | Obfuscate | encrypt | privacy policies | Anonymous | Mailinator  

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