Spam email is all that annoying junk that falls into your inbox every day. In this VideoJug film we tell you all you need to know about spam blockers and give you tips on sensible email use. Learn with VideoJug how to free up your email account from the endless wave of spam.
Step 1: Spam filtering software
If you run an email program like Microsoft Outlook on your computer, it is possible to get free software to protect your inbox from spam. Filters such as Expurgate (www.spamfence.net) or K9 (www.keir.nr/k9.html) use complex formulae to separate genuine emails from the spam. If a spam email does slip through, or a genuine email gets filtered incorrectly, you can train your software to be more accurate by correcting its mistakes. Most web based email will have a spam filter built in.
Step 2: Increase filtering levels
Make sure you have set your filter levels to be as strict as possible, only letting emails from your contacts list through to your inbox. You can save the email addresses of any mailing lists or emails wrongly detected as spam to your contacts, eventually building up a comprehensive safe list of addresses to receive email from.
Step 3: Use multiple email addresses
Create a free web based email address to use whenever you buy or fill in a form online. A lot of the spam email you receive comes from your email address being sold on from one company to another, so by keeping your personal email address off these lists, you can keep your inbox safer.
Step 4: Avoid chain emails
Popular jokes and links are often forwarded around the internet through email, picking up a huge chain of addresses as they go. Eventually, some of these chains can fall
into the hands of spammers. If you must forward something to a group of people, send via the bcc option, as this hides the list of email addresses the message has been sent to from everyone on the receiving end.
Step 5: Unsubscribing from mailing lists
Your address will often be added to mailing lists, usually by yourself when buying online. If the mailing list is genuine, it will have an unsubscribe link somewhere in the email, where you can click to remove your address from the list. Be aware though, that some spam is designed to look like a genuine mailing list, and clicking on the unsubscribe link simply confirms to the spammer that your address is active, resulting in a bombardment of spam emails.
Step 6: Reporting spam emails
If you receive spam email purporting to be from your bank or a big company like eBay, asking for account details or your password, you should report it to them immediately. Companies like this, as well as specialists such as www.spamcop.net, are keen to track and shut down the spammers, helping to reduce the amount of spam that makes it to your inbox.
Step 7: Avoid viruses
An infected computer can open you up to a flood of spam, so never open any email attachments you were not expecting, and make sure you have up to date anti-virus software.
Step 8: Limit your domain email addresses
If you have your own website, and have multiple email addresses feeding into your inbox, such as email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, try reducing your email address total. By either deleting some addresses, or replacing all the addresses with forms for sales or admin queries, you are reducing the chances of an address you own getting on to a spammer's email list.