Spam. Those annoying, time-consuming emails that clog your Inbox and ruin your day. You wonder: How did it ever get so bad? While it’s not possible to completely eliminate spam, there are quite a few things you CAN do about the problem to reduce your burden.
Spam is defined as an unsolicited email trying to get you to buy something. In addition, it’s email that tries to get you to give up something: your credit card number, social security number, login ID, etc., by pretending to be a legitimate email. Here are ten tips for stopping the current spam you’re getting, and avoiding getting on new spam lists.
1. Maintain two email addresses: a Personal Email Address (that you give to family, friends and business associates), and a Safe Email Address (one you use whenever you’re ordering something online, signing up for an email newsletter, or creating a profile on a website). For instance, I use a Hotmail account for my Safe Email Address. If a spammer were to get a hold of that address, fine. All the spam will go into my Hotmail account, which I only look at once a week. Hotmail has a great anti-spam filter built in, so it’s easy to see what’s spam and what’s not. This practice leaves my personal email account relatively spam-free (maybe I get two spam emails a day to my personal account). Some free email services include Hotmail, Yahoo and GMail (Google’s new email service).
2. Use your Safe Email Address to send emails to companies who might be harvesting email addresses from incoming emails. For example, say you want to write to a company to ask them about their products. Some companies will harvest your email address from the email you send to them, and put you on their mailing list. By using your Safe Email Address, you can avoid seeing messages from these companies come to your personal email address.