If you’re like most people, your inbox is completely spam infested. No need to be embarrassed, it happens to the best of us- no matter how clean we try to keep our email in-boxes! Whether you are an individual email user, or the member of a non-profit organization, or CEO of a Fortune 500 Company, chances are, your email is available on a few websites out there, which helps contribute to the amount of spam emails you receive. There are ways to reduce the amount of unwanted emails you get- including the following:
Camouflage your email address
If you have a website, or you participate in internet forums, message boards and other online communities, make sure that you never display your real email address in it’s entirety. Email addresses listed online are picked up by computer programs; harvested just like the child who pick berries and fills up her basket at grandma’s house- and then distributed to spammers around the world. When you need to give out your email in a public manner like this, try doing something like this to camouflage it a bit: youremail at yahoo dot com. People can make sense of that and know to replace “at” with @ and “dot” with . You could also create a graphic image of the “@” sign; and that will prevent the harvesting of your email address by automatic crawlers.
Don’t reply to or click or otherwise touch a spam email
Most spam emails are easily recognizable by their subject lines. Delete any emails with obvious spam-subject lines- you know, the ones talking about giving you a better sex life, prescription drugs, lower mortgage rates, or outstanding credit card offers. Just delete those without opening them. Don’t click on the “unsubscribe links”, because all that does is tell the spammer your email exists and you open them. Clicking on links in a spam email, even if it’s something you’re interested in, will result in additional spam email. Don’t make purchases through spam email links, and never give out personal information through links that come in email because chances are, it’s fake and someone is going to use that information.
Stop signing emailed petitions
How many times have you received an email asking for your name and email address on their petition? Most of these are just ways for spammers to grab your email address, and honestly- email petitions don’t work.
Create another email address
When you are registering for a website, or newsletter or online community, don’t use your home or business email. Create an additional email through a free service like yahoo, msn, hotmail, or gmail; and just use that for all of your groups. This will minimize the number of spam emails your real email receives – and you can always then set up your free email account to forward specific emails or newsletters to your every-day email address while the spam stays trapped in the free email inbox.
Filter your email
There are filters for everything these days; coffee, television, internet websites and yes- email filters. If you use a spam filter, you can effectively eliminate most unwanted emails from showing up in your email box. You can also configure outlook express and outlook to automatically delete emails from certain senders, or with specific subject lines. If you want, you can even set your email program to delete emails containing certain keywords- but just be careful, because there may be some real emails containing words you’ve blocked, and you’ll miss those if you filter them out.