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Tips & Hints

I am being deluged by junk e-mail. How do I stop them?

Posted 11 September 2001

Interested in Viagra, naked girls, Bermuda property or making easy money really quickly? Probably not, but that doesn’t stop the junk mail coming in. You cannot stop spam but there are steps you can take to reduce it.

  1. Only give your e-mail address out to those you really want to receive mail from.

  2. Never respond to spam, even to ask them to stop. To do so guarantees a huge increase in junk. Most e-mail addresses on the spammers lists are old and unused, so they will often send out a message hoping people will reply "please remove me from your list". These people become popular targets.

  3. Get a free e-mail account and use that for posting messages and filling in forms. The most popular accounts are available from hotmail and yahoo. You can then use your main account for useful mail.

  4. When filling in forms where a return e-mail address is essential, such as online shopping sites, tick the boxes that refuse permission to pass your details onto other marketeers.

  5. Don’t disclose your e-mail address, or any personal details, when filling in user profiles for forums, discussion groups and messaging software.

  6. If you post a message to any forum or newsgroup, insert an extra word or phrase that will fool the automated programs that farm addresses from newsgroups or webpages. For instance,

  7. Be careful using the junk mail filters built into most mail programs. If you are too eager in adding key words or domains, you will probably lock out valid e-mail as well.

Spam is a fact of life that isn’t going to go away. If it becomes too much, consider your e-mail address hopelessly compromised and get a new one. If you do get a new one, following these tips should minimise the junk in your inbox.

Useful anti-spam Resources

The great Cnet spam-off: What activities are the most likely to get you on the spammers lists.


The coalition against unsolicited bulk e-mail

How to reduce spam in ICQ

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