Regain Control of Your Inbox

The word spam as applied to email refers to email the recipient has not granted verifiable permission for the message to be sent and it is part of a bulk emailing.  Another common term for spam is unsolicited bulk email (UBE).  The bulk implies that the email was sent to the recipient is part of a larger emailing using the same content being sent to numerous recipients 
Unsolicited email is not spam, examples include enquires sent relating to sales information, product information, job information and so on.

Bulk email is not spam, examples include emails sent to newsletter subscribers, discussion lists, information lists and so on.
However, when unsolicited and bulk email are combined that is spam. Spam is a growing problem in the online world.  To reduce the amount of spam you receive follow these important rules and make them part of your daily routine.

Never respond to unsolicited bulk email (spam)
Don’t open emails that appear to be spam.
If it appears to be spam simply delete it, never open it.  An email may contain an image that is invisible to the recipient.  This is also referred to as a web beacon.  Once the email is opened the spammer is alerted that your email address is live.
Never respond to the remove request in a spam email.
Never ever reply to a suspect email to remove you from further emails.  If you respond all you are doing is alerting the spammer that your email address is legitimate. Your email address will then be added to the spammers network and you will receive so much more spam email.  You should only reply to a remove request when you know you initially signed up to receive emails from the source.

Do not post your email address in public places.
Avoid listing your email on message boards, in a chat room, or any public place.  Spammers use automated robots or “bots” to search the internet and grab your email address.  This technique is also known as email harvesting and some people will actually sell you a software program to do the harvesting.  If you are serious about your business never ever buy such a program.

Cloak, hide or whatever your email address on your website.
Use encryption software or some other method to protect your email address on your website.  The reason being to stop spammers using email harvesters to gather your email address.

Use a disposable email address.
You can use this email address to sign up for newsletters and other information or services that you may be dubious about.  If after a period of time the source appears trustworthy and valuable, transfer your membership to your main email address.  If you want to respond to any free offers for software, ebooks and so on use your disposable email address. If you must sign up to receive software or other information using your primary email address check the sites privacy policy first.  This should tell you whether the site shares your address with marketing companies.

Use some form of a spam filter.
Use a front end mailing program for trapping spam or a spam filter program to review your emails prior to being downloaded to your email account on your computer. The front end mailing program I use and recommend is Mail Washer pro.  Mail Washer Pro reduces your time wasting junk (spam) mail problems, as well as letting you preview and delete your e-mail before it gets to your computer, Mail Washer Pro also lets you bounce e-mail back to the spammers so it looks as though your address is not valid. Find out more about mail washer Pro and to download a free evaluation version.

NOTE:  Never ever forward spam email.  Never forward on an email virus alert to friends, unless you personally know that it is real and not just a hoax.  If in doubt don’t send.

Other spammers tricks to watch out for include
Directory attacks.  The spammer takes a “dictionary” of common words and names, combines them and sends email addressed to all different variations.
Spoofing.  The process of using a fake email header that makes an email message look like it came from someone or somewhere other than the spammer.
Another trick used by spammers to get people to open emails is to make the email appear as though it is a personal message to you and that they know you.  They use a personalised subject line such as Hi, How are you or they may even have your Christian name in the subject line.
To bypass spam control filters spammers insert random strings of text to make the message appear unique from other email.
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