Spam, what is it?
There's nothing worse than walking out to your mailbox,
eagerly anticipating a message and finding your box
stuffed with nothing but a pile of mass-mailed
advertisements. Just as junk mail is a nuisance to
pole-and-flag mailboxes, spam is the blight of the virtual
Real spam is unsolicited bulk e-mail advertising for
some product or service sent to a mailing list.
How do you determine if it is spam?
If you asked for it either intentionally or
accidentally, it's not spam. If you opted to receive
special messages from somewhere like Amazon.com, then you
can't complain about Amazon sending you email. If your
friend forwards an email and asks you to send it to 10
other people, that's annoying but it's not spam.
What can you do to help?
Since spam is predicted to increase at a rate of 20%
annually our only hope is to employ a proactive solution.
This can only be provided by action on your part. Consider
and employ the following:
Don't reply to spam. A reply verifies to the
spammer that your email address is active. Spammers sell
this information to other spammers and the vicious cycle
Never respond to the spam e-mail's instructions to
reply with the word "remove." This is just a trick
to get you to react to the e-mail -- it alerts the sender
that a human is at your address, which greatly increases
its value. If you reply, your address is placed on more
lists and you receive more spam.
Never sign up with sites that promise to remove your
name from spam lists. There are some sites that are
sincere, but most are just spam address collectors.
Stay anonymous. When a website asks for your
name and email address, leave the email address field in
the Web forms blank, or make up an outlandish address.
Remove all instances of your email address from
websites. Spammers use email robots called mailbots to
collect addresses from the Web.
Don't open email from unknown sources. A simple rule of
thumb is that if you don't know the person who is sending
you an email, be very careful about opening the email and
any file attached to it. Should you receive a suspicious
email, the best thing to do is to delete the entire
message. Even if you do know the person sending you the
email, you should exercise caution if the message is
strange and unexpected, particularly if it contains
unusual hyperlinks. Your friend may have accidentally sent
you a virus.
Use caution when handing out your business card, if it
has your internet email address printed on it. Consider
removing the address the next time you have your cards