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Part VI: Managing E-Mail Overload > Reducing Spam Intake

Chapter 31. Reducing Spam Intake

As an e-mail user, you probably receive plenty of spam. Electronic junk mail includes primarily advertisements, get-rich-quick schemes, and adult-oriented material. Try the following spam-busting techniques to reduce your intake of these annoying messages.

Never reply to spam. If you are on the receiving end of a spam mailing, do not reply to the unsubscribe option. Often such a reply accomplishes the opposite. Your reply confirms your e-mail address and may encourage the sender to sell your address to other spammers. Replying to spam also can be a waste of time because senders sometimes use one-time-only addresses to blast the spam into cyberspace. Your irate reply could land nowhere. So why bother?

Consider simply deleting unsolicited messages. A simple solution, deleting junk e-mail is the easiest, most effective way to control spam.

When sending e-mail messages to recipients you do not know, ask that your address not be forwarded or sold.

Buy software to filter out unwanted messages. Some filtering programs are based on key words and phrases. Add “get rich quick” to your filter list, and messages containing that phrase will be deleted. Other filtering programs send unwanted messages to a dedicated folder, which you periodically delete without reading. The downside to this approach is that legitimate messages could slip through and be deleted along with the junk.

For confidential messages, use encryption software that scrambles contents, making messages indecipherable to all but the intended recipient.



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