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How does Antispam software Block Spam?

Are there different ways to prevent spam?

Yes! I have learned about spam the hard way and will share my lessons learned with you. Just a few years ago, much of my work day dealt with deleting hundreds of spam messages a day. Now, I rarely give spam a second thought as my inbox generally contains only wanted messages. How did I go from hundreds of spam messages a day to one or two a month?

First, I changed email addresses. Once your email address gets on a list and that list is circulated amongst spammers, it becomes exceedingly difficult to clear your name. But, changing email addresses alone won't prevent spam. Unless you change your Web surfing habits and actively protect your email address, you'll soon find yourself dreaming up a new email address and informing all of your friends that you have yet another new address.

Here are some steps that you can take to prevent spam:

  • Never post your email address on websites, bulletin boards, or forums. If you do, your email address will quickly be harvested by automatic Web robots whose main purpose is to seek out email addresses for spammers. If you must do so, have a graphic made and post the graphic or use a format that drops the @ sign such as:

yourname < at > ISP <dot> com

  • Limit the amount of free newsletters that you sign up for. Signing up for free newsletters means that you just "opted in" and have agreed to receiving newsletters from the supplier. Pick carefully so that you only sign up for those that you really want.
  • Watch out what you are signing up for when registering with websites. Many registration forms have preselected checkboxes that automatically opt you in for receiving future communications, or even the sharing of your information with "partners." Make sure to clear these checkboxes.
  • Use a disposable email address. Sign up for a free email account such as a Hotmail or Yahoo account and use it when registering for websites or making purchases. This way, if the address becomes a target of spam, you can let it go and create a new one.
  • Use a self-destructing email address. I signed up with Spam Gourmet a few years ago and highly recommend this service to anyone who likes to tryout lots of newsletters or websites. You get a basic email address that you customize per Web site. As you customize it, you get to specify how many emails you will accept before the address self destructs. Once that number has been reached, you'll never receive another related message again. If you decide that you want to continue using that address, you can allow it. This lets you try out a newsletter without compromising your email address.
  • Protect your primary email address and share it only with colleagues, family, and friends. Use disposable and self-destructing email addresses for everything else.
  • When sending messages to multiple recipients, use the BCC (Blind Carbon Copy) feature and educate others to do the same. This prevents email addresses from being visible to others. After all, you never know who's forwarding emails with your email address on display.

Use anti-spam software. Despite your best efforts, spammers may still find you. Anti-spam software will filter out the junk so you don't have to deal with it.

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