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PC Doctor+ Guide 4 Reducing Spam

Written By: Steve Latimer

Get Some Protection: Part 4 Spam

SPAM . . SPAM . . SPAM . . Yes it really was named after the famous Monty Python sketch featuring the intrepid Erik the Viking.

What Is Spam?

Unsolicited e-mail. Over 60% of all e-mails are now unsolicited sales messages – and it’s growing.

Junk mail is the scourge of the Internet. While it’s a real shame that something as useful as e-mail should be contaminated by this claptrap there are serious implications to it’s phenomenal growth. EU businesses spend 1.5 billion a year trying to counter it and now Governments are looking at ways legislate against it.

In 2004, the UK Government brought in legislation to discourage the spammers but the penalties are derisory compared to those introduced by other countries. This has had the unfortunate effect of making the UK a prime target for international spammers. It is estimated that by the end of 2005, 80% of all UKJ e-mails will be spam.

There are no ways to avoid it completely that we know of but you can take steps to minimise it.

Common Sense Tips to Reduce SPAM

Never visit web sites advertised by Spam mail

If you do, never, NEVER buy anything

Do not reply to the e-mail or click an unsubscribe link – doing so merely confirms that your e-mail address is active and that the message has been read.

Delete Spam messages immediately

If certain domains are particularly bothering you report them to your ISP

Don’t register for free services – especially those that don’t allow you to opt out of third party and/or related products and services – they’ll forward your address on to other Spammers.

Set up a dummy web based e-mail account such as Hotmail and use this address as a scrap bucket if you can’t avoid providing an e-mail address. Organisations such as Hotmail routinely clear out dead messages to save space which means once you have set up your dummy account you can forget about it.

Blocking Unsolicited Mail In Microsoft Outlook Express

Once you have received an unsolicited mail into your inbox select it by clicking on it once.

Move the pointer to the MESSAGE menu option on the top menu bar
Select BLOCK SENDER

This action adds the senders address to a growing list of blocked senders. Each time a mail is received from any of those in the blocked list the mail is moved automatically to the DELETED ITEMS folder and does not appear in the INBOX.

Blocking Unsolicited Mail In Microsoft Outlook 2000/2002/XP

Use the RULES WIZARD within the TOOLS menu to create a rule to send any mail suspected of being Junk Senders to the DELETED ITEMS folder.

When an unsolicited e-mail arrives in your Inbox then select it by RIGHT clicking on it once and choose to add it to the junk senders list.

Delete the mail manually from your Inbox

The next time a mail arrives from the same source it will be moved automatically to the DELETED ITEMS folder. As the list grows the amount of junk mail in your Inbox will diminish.

There may be light at the end of the Spam tunnel. Uncle Bill at Microsoft is known to have ‘a thing’ about Spam and is determined to kill it off. Governments too are looking for better ways to reduce this nuisance.

About the Author

Steve Latimer is Systems Manager with Arrival Computers (http://www.arrival-computers.co.uk). PC Doctor+ Guides are aimed at users new to computing. They may be reproduced and included in web sites as additional content provided a link is added back to the Arrival Computers Web Site.

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