|Spam Control 101
|While there are plenty of software options, both shareware and freeware, to rid your email inbox of spam mail, a bit of poking under the hood in your email client could save you the hassle of having to install one.
The first and most obvious method of cutting back your spam is to avoid GETTING it in the first place. But for most of us who have at least one Web site, that isn't always possible. So you'll always get SOME spam email from your site, even if you DO cloak your email address.
Obtaining secondary email accounts is a breeze anymore. Most Web hosting options allow you to create as many as you need. And if not, you can always take one of zillions of freemail accounts anywhere. The point is, you should have at least one email account you wish to use for nothing but catching spam. And USE this account when you enter your contact information on line, for taking out freebie services, for registering (freeware) software titles or for anything else that isn't DIRECTLY for business.
One of the easiest ways to strip out unwanted email is by putting your email FILTERS to work for you. All quality email clients have filters you can use, but it's surprising how few people bother with them. I guess they feel it's too time consuming to learn and set up. And while it DOES take a bit of a learning curve to learn (to do effectively), consider how much time is wasted parsing through junk email. If you are fortunate enough to have a cPanel enabled account, then you can easily set up such filters on the server side, and never have to download them again, in the first place!
If you are one of the lucky ones, that own a client that allows you to filter emails by MESSAGE HEADER data, then your life is about to get easier. While it's VERY EASY to fake (forge) main header information such as FROM and TO, it takes some serious knowledge to forge the other header information: A step that most spammers don't bother with. Learn how to view your message headers in your software (read the docs) and look for unique indentifiable elements in your spammers emails. Find the first hop in your spammers email headers... it will look something like: Received: from VALUED20606295 [188.8.131.528] by somedomain.com with ESMTP (SMTPD32-7.13) id A4B853AA057A. It's more than most likely the entry nearest to the bottom (furthest from YOUR email servers entry).
Now, open your filter options and enter the "somedomain.com" part of the address, PROVIDED that the entry is not part of a large domain you may expect others to email you from. Generally with spam email, the endpoint domain is owned by the company that is sending you the email, but CHECK TO MAKE SURE. If you are not sure, then try to find another unique identifying entry for this source. After you enter the information, be SURE you tell your filter to look in the HEADER of the message for this information and choose the option to DELETE. That's it. If you have done your job correctly, you will never again see another article of email from this company.
How many times have you seen an email that pops into your inbox containing nothing but "src=file" or some such? This may be an attempt at loading a virus file into your system. Well... simply add the "src=file" into a filter for message headers AND body, choose the option to delete those and never be bothered with such a silly attempt again!
And finally, the newest email annoyance to infect your inbox are those damn popup windows. It's not bad enough that these companies have to exploit your Web surfing activity with this nonsense, but now they are shoving them down your throat via your inbox!! Well then, add a filter for "onload="window.open" and point it to the message's ATTACHMENT AND body, and make THAT problem go away too!!
Different types of spam mail may contain variations on these themes, but with a little snooping under the hood, and some creative use of your email filters, you can make them all vanish in time. It takes a few months to build a hefty defense against these morons, but rest assured that with patience, you can beat them.
And finally, NEVER use those UNSUBSCRIBE functions UNLESS it belongs to a reputuable company. They are used simply to confirm that there is indeed a "human" on the other end of an address (which makes the address MORE valuable to them), and even if they DO remove you from THEIR list, they'll probably sell your address to 100 OTHERS who will spam you!
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