Recent polls show that about 85% of all email users believe spam should be banned. Efforts by the United States government and other countries to put a halt to spam email have been weak and ineffective, putting the responsibility in the hands of the user and not the spammer. Until spammers can be adequately caught and punished, they will keep on spamming.
As for the 15% who think spam is fine, or who actually use spam to get more information or buy the products, you are the ones who keep spam alive. There must be something about the thrill of enhancing your breasts or manhood that keeps these companies making money, and some of them are making millions. Stop clicking on spam, stop downloading it, and stop buying from spammers and they will find their income loss bad enough to lose enthusiasm.
The first step to eliminating spam is to never respond, reply, or interact with spam. The next step is to stop spam before it gets to you computer, so you won’t be tempted.
Many of the most popular e-mail software and services, including Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and Microsoft Outlook 2003, have built-in anti-spam tools. This are fairly effective, though still not perfect. Spammers are constantly working on ways to outfit filters and anti-spam software. In addition to these software programs and services, there are some add-on anti-spam tools you can also use.
Spam prevention software includes:
Tips on Stopping Spam
Currently, there are no registry list for getting off spam email lists, though there are some efforts underway. This kind of registry would put the responsibility on you, the email user and not on the spammers. Until the responsibility is on the spammers, here are a few tips to help you stop spam in your email inbox:
- Don’t open or accept email from anyone you don’t know, don’t recognize, or looks suspicious.
- Use spam filters built into your email program.
- Use spam blocking software.
- Do not buy from spammers or anyone who sends you anything through the email unsolicited – without your advance permission.
- Do not reply, click, or interact with a spam email in anyway. This will only confirm to the spammers that they have reached a viable address.
- If you reply to an email, or use their recommendation on how to get off their mailing list, they may take your email address and sell it to other spammers, increasing your junk email and spam.
- Use a fake email address when signing up for one-time use passwords and login accounts.
- Use one email account for shopping purchases, use another email account for newsletters and signing up for things, and another for online chats or newsgroups. You can set up free email accounts with Hotmail, Yahoo, and other free email account services.
- If the current email address you have is flooded with spam, change it and be very careful who you share your email with.
- Do not give out your email address unless you understand the risks from that Website or company. Read their Legal, Privacy, and other fine print policies and make sure you understand what they will do with your email address.
- Newgroups and online public chat groups are notorious for grabbing email addresses so make sure you use a separate email account or a fake email address when using these services.
Faking Email Addresses
There are ways to get your email out to the right people while still avoiding having it grabbed by spammers. People tend to notice the NOSPAM and REMOVE or REMOVETHIS notices and remove them, and change the “at” and “dot” to @ and period. If your email address was email@example.com here are some examples you might use:
fred at alfred dot com
fred strudel alfred dot com
fred strudel alfred.com
fred at REMOVE alfred dot com
fred NO at SPAM alfred dot com
(Note: the @ symbol is called “at” in English and “strudel” in Hebrew and some other languages)
- Use tricks when posting your email publicly online like if your email is firstname.lastname@example.org you can write it fredatfredcom or fredREMOVETHIS@fred.com or REMOVETHISfred@fred.com or any similar combinations (see sidebar). Many also use fred@NOSPAMfred.com versions, too. People familiar with this process will remove the letters in caps.
- Do NOT complain, respond, reply, or contact spammers or the Internet Providers. There are proper sources for reporting spam, so if you really feel compelled to report spam, checking the reporting recommendations at SpamAbuse.net.
- Get active – support your congress representatives on a local and national level to stop spammers, but be clear that you want them to stop the spammers, and not make you do the work. Currently, the law puts the responsibility on you, the user. Tell them you want the spammer to carry all responsibility for getting permission from you first before sending unwanted and unsolicited email. Let people who want to get spam sign up on a list!
More Information on Spam
For more information on spam, spammers, and how to stop spam, visit these sites:
- Why Am I Getting All This Spam? Unsolicited Commercial E-mail Research Six Month Report from the Center for Democracy and Technology
- CAN-SPAM Compliance Company LLC (CCC) (US Government Agency to Stop Spam
- Find more on the US Government’s CAN-SPAM initiative, use this page and search for the bill keyword “spam”
- Library Support Staff – Thinking Forward Dealing with Spam, Viruses, Hoaxes, and Email Junk
- Spam Abuse.net
- NetBuse FAQ