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19.5. The Spam Filter

Many of the improvements Apple made in the 10.2 version of its Mail program are tiny tweaks. A few examples: You can Control-click almost anything to see a pop-up menu of useful commands; a little orange symbol next to somebody's name lets you know when one of your iChat buddies is online; and the program remembers the positions of your open windows.

Sidebar 8. Canning Spam

Help! I'm awash in junk email!

The Junk filter goes a long way toward cleaning out the spam from your mail collection. But because it doesn't catch everything, you're better off avoiding getting spam to begin with. For example:

  • If you have more than one email account, consider using one just for online shopping, Web site and software registration, and newsgroup posting. Spammers have automated software robots that scour every public Internet message and Web page, recording email addresses they find. These are the primary sources of spam, so at least you're now restricting the junk mail to one secondary mail account. (Reserve a separate email account for person-to-person email.)

  • When filling out forms online, turn off the checkboxes that say, "Yes, send me exciting offers and news from your partners."

  • When posting messages in a newsgroup, insert the letters NOSPAM somewhere into your email address. Anyone replying to you via email must delete the NOSPAM from your email address, which is a slight hassle. Meanwhile, however, the spammers' software robots will lift a bogus email address from your newsgroup posts.

Finally, don't miss the Message→Bounce to Sender command. This juicy Mail bonus sends a junk message back to the sender, coded as though it had reached a nonworking email address. Not only are the spammers inconvenienced, but they may take your name off their list.



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