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Knock Out Spam With the One-Two Punch

Written By: Sharon Fling

Are you sick of spam relentlessly spewing into your
emailbox? So was I, until I learned how to knock it out, or
at least slow it down, with my one-two punch. Do both of
these things, neither of which will cost you a penny, and
enjoy a distinct decrease in the amount of garbage in your
inbox.

Here we go:

#1 Mail Washing

First, hit the spam with Mailwasher, available free at
www.mailwasher.net. This easy to set up little program lets
you preview email before downloading it. You see all the
usual details – sender, subject, size – but with one big
difference: you can decide BEFORE downloading if you want
it.

You get, I’m sure, many emails that you wouldn’t have
downloaded if only you’d known what was in them. That’s
just one thing Mailwasher can do for you. Its real power is
in its ability to ‘bounce’ unwanted messages (spam) right
back to the person who sent it, marked ‘message
undeliverable.’

To the spammer it looks as if your e-mail address is no
longer active, and hopefully, the next time they ‘clean’
their list, your email address will fall off. But even if
it doesn’t, Mailwasher adds the spammer’s address to a
blacklist. The next time they spam you, it’s already marked
for deletion. (You can always unmark it.)

When you’re finished ‘washing’ your mail of spam and
unwanted downloads, click ‘process mail’ and whatever
messages are left will be downloaded as usual when you log
on through your e- mail program, which you can do directly
from MailWasher.

I have over 20 email addresses, so you can imagine the
flood of spam that poured in my mailbox every day. Now I
run them all through Mailwasher first, and it has made a
huge difference.

To further reduce spam, Mailwasher has another trick that
your regular email program doesn’t. It learns. There are
all kinds of settings, filters, sorts and alerts. The more
you use it, the more it learns what you do and don’t want
to see. It does lots of stuff that I haven’t even tried
yet. But for what I need – quick and dirty spam elimination
- it does great.

Best of all, it’s free to try. If you like it, the author
asks that you pay him whatever you think is fair. How much
you pay him is up to you, but the funds go to future
development of the product. Considering how useful this
program is, I think that’s a very worthy cause.

#2: Email Encoding

Once you’ve got Mailwasher going, you’re on your way to
getting off the spam lists. To stay off, don’t skip this
second step!

One of the ways that spammers get your email address is
through harvesting programs that crawl the net snatching
email addresses off of websites, message boards,
newsgroups. Anywhere they can find something that looks
like an email address, they grab it. And the way that they
know it’s an email address is by looking for ‘mailto’ or
the ‘@’ symbol.

There are programs available – also free – that will encode
your email address for you. This converts your ASCII email
address into its equivalent decimal entity. For example,
the letter “a” equates to: “a” (without the quotes), the
letter “b” equates to: “b”, and so forth.

Here’s an example of an email address:

“johndoe@
someserv
er.com″

which appears as: johndoe@someserver.com

To make the link clickable, you need to include the HREF
tag, i.e.

Tagged as: mail, punch, search engine optimization, unwanted messages

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