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Protecting Yourself from Spam and Un-Wanted Emails

By: Chris Brennan - Updated: 3 Nov 2010 | comments*Discuss
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Spam is the bane of many email inboxes. Spam can be an email offering all manner of goods and services, not to mention email that’s simply a collection of text that makes no sense to anyone. More sinister than this though, Spam can harbour viruses and software that can damage your PC. Spam is a serious issue and it is being sent more and more. Luckily there are just as many ways of combating spam and reducing your chances of wasting time with this unwanted mail.

The main hassle of unwanted email is the shear inconvenience of sorting though it all, and making sure that the real email – the stuff you want -doesn’t end up deleted. Most email packages contain some form of Spam or junk mail filtering. These need training to recognise the email you don’t want. So the irony is, you’ll need to be getting spam delivered before they can pick out the real stuff. Also whilst they’re in the learning stage they can be prone to chuck your real emails in with the trash, so they need plenty of monitoring before they can be trusted.

There are plenty of software options available, and though these cost money, the results are very good. These programmes use a variety of methods to spot email that isn’t actually yours or is just gibberish. These are then sent to a special folder for you to check through if you wish, or can simply be set to delete the unwanted mail. The risk of deleting an email from someone you are connected to is still a possibility, however, it’s much less likely with a paid for service.

Your Internet service provider should also offer some Spam protection with the email addresses it gives you. If you’re not sure then call whomever supplies your Internet connection and emails to see if there’s anything that can be done ‘server side’ to eliminate spam before it even gets to you. If you have an online control panel controls for Spam options can often be found here. Log into your account and look for email preferences to see if there are any Spam options here.

Not all Spam is from mysterious sources however, and large organisations can also get in on the act. If you buy something online you’re likely to be asked for your email address, and the retailer will want to retain this so that they can send mail to you in the future advertising its other products and services. In most cases there should be an opt-out button you can press to be excluded form this kind of email. However, if there isn’t, contact the company and let them know you don’t want your email address used for marketing purposes.

Sadly Spam isn’t something that’s going to go away. As one spammer recently caught by police in the US was earning close to $750,000 from his activities. With this kind of income you can be sure that someone will soon replace him and his spam emails.

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