Dealing with Spam

Welcome to Computing Matters 5 – Dealing with Spam

republishing old newsletter from October 2007

Welcome to Computing Matters 5 in which I will briefly cover the growing nuisance issue of spam. If you find this newsletter useful, please see link below to make a donation to Norwood.

Spam is almost unavoidable and we all suffer from this infliction! As an email address becomes publicly known by your contacts and by websites, however careful you are, you will start to receive spam or junk mail.

Spam emails should not be confused with newsletter emails like this one. Newsletters from genuine sources can easily be unsubscribed from by clicking the unsubscribe link at the bottom or by replying with “unsubscribe” in the subject. However, there are rouge newsletter emails that are effectively spam and spotting the difference is sometimes a challenge. Genuine newsletters will generally come from a known source or service you have used.

In my opinion, most spam results from either rouge websites collecting your email address and using this data inappropriately or from friends sending out “friendly” emails to a large group of people. These emails get forwarded on and on until it reached a spammer who then takes 1000 email addresses from one email! So please encourage your friends to use the BCC field when sending out group emails, as discussed in the second edition of Computing Matters.

The most effective way to avoid spam completely is actually to change your email address! However, this poses the inconvenience of notifying your contacts and updating all sorts of website records. Most of us would not be prepared to go through the work of doing this.

For those of you who use Outlook or Outlook Express or the Vista Windows Mail, an effective solution to trapping spam is to use a spam filter like Cloudmark which I find to be very effective. Cloudmark will work in conjunction with (but substantially more effectively then) the built-in junk mail filter that Outlook 2003/07 and Windows Mail.

Try Cloudmark free for two weeks

If you own your own domain name – make sure you are not receiving what is known as a “catch all”. For example, I own the domain, but if you try to email info at the email will bounce back since the address does not exist. For some people however, even though the address does not exist, if they have a “catch all” switched on, they will still get the email.

There are also website services that can be used to prevent spam. They work by intercepting any person who sends you an email with an “auto response” asking the person to click a link to establish that they are genuine…however, I personally think these are too intrusive and will not be recommending any in this newsletter.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: