5 ways to reduce email spam

familysurf.jpgOver 71% of all mail sent/receieved worldwide is spam. There are literally millions of email messages sent daily across the planet meaning that this figure is quite alarming, and obvious that email spam has become more and more of a problem since the beginning of the internet bubble (Web 1.0) in the early to mid 1990’s.

Everybody recieves messages talking about miracle growth pills and busty babes and at first it was merely just a nuisance, as of now it has almost reached epidemic proportions. While spammers used to rely soley on the volume of their attacks, these days they have a whole lot more to deal with such as mail filters, spam blockers, etc.

ISP’s are making a stand and trying to block as much of this ‘crap’ as they can, but its hard work and we all need to chip in to reduce the amount of spam we each recieve on a daily basis.

Some of the biggest spam culprits are:

  1. Image Spam: A way of sending a spam message in a non-text form. Harder for spam filters to detect.
  2. Phishing: A form of internet fraud which attempts to steal your personal details such as bank account numbers, PIN numbers, passwords, credit card information, etc.
  3. Trojan style spam: Spam which automatically downloads and installs nuisance software onto your computer.
  4. Spyware: Software that sends information about your web surfing habbits and preferences to its website.

So, what can we do? How can we stop getting this stuff? between you and me, there is plenty we can do:

  1. Manage your Email inbox cautiously: If you’ve identified some spam, adding it to your ‘blocked sender’s list’ is always a good idea. As long as your email client is doing its job, it ensures you won’t recieve any more mail from that source.
  2. Never open anything remotely suspicious: Watch out for email attachments that don’t exactly look ‘normal’ or with weird names such as “file001.zip” or “x003b.dat” or anything of that nature.
  3. Always delete potentially harmful mail: This mainly includes email recieved such as Phishing and trojan style mail. This ensures that you don’t come back to the same message thinking it was legitimate.
  4. Never give your email address to just anyone: Stay “off the grid” as possible. The less your email address is used in signing up for newsletters, mailing lists, joining forums, etc the less likely that address will be spammed.
  5. Use spam filtering software on your inbox: Use spam-filters on your email inbox. There are a number of different filters out there these days for Microsoft Outlook, Outlook Express, Eudora, Mozilla Thunderbird. Just a few include spamMatters, SpamAssasin, Spam Bully or check out a great in-depth look at some of the best filters around here.

There’s always something you can do to combat spam. Its annoying I know, and wouldn’t you love to get rid of it!

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