How to Get Rid of Spam

By: Jon Henshaw, M.A.

It seems like email addresses and spam go hand in hand - you can't have one without the other. Although it's practically impossible to get rid of spam, there are ways to reduce and manage how much you receive in your Inbox. Below are some proven tips that will help you get rid of the unwanted, and often offensive, spam messages:

  1. Use an email client, like Mozilla's Thunderbird, or Apple's Mail, which comes with intelligent built in spam filtering.

  2. For even better filtering, get a Spamcop email account. The email account is only $30/year, and if configured correctly, can block 99% of spam messages.

  3. Use a different email account for buying products online. Keep your preferred email address for personal use between friends and family, and create a new email account with a service like Hotmail or Yahoo! Mail for online purchases.

  4. Don't make your email address public. If you run a website, use an online form, instead of your email address. If you like to post messages on forums, make sure people don't have access to your email address. Furthermore, if you post messages to Newsgroups (Usenet), don't use your real email address.

  5. Don't write your email address on paper forms. When your bank or companies request your email address, don't write it down. Most companies will not only send you spam from their own company, they will also sell your address to interested third parties.

  6. If you run Windows, use a powerful anti-virus program, like Antivir (which is free for non-commercial use). Because Windows is an insecure operating system, plagued with security holes and viruses, a good anti-virus program will help keep viruses from stealing your email address and adding it to spam email lists. Or better yet, switch to a secure operating system that is virtually virus free, like Apple's Mac OS X.

  7. Unless the company that you're receiving spam from is well known and reputable, don't click on the unsubscribe links, or follow the unsubscribe instructions provided at the bottom of many spam messages. More often than not, spammers use this to verify that you're email address is valid, instead of unsubscribing you.

Spam is most likely here to stay, but there are things you can do now to curb the amount of spam you get. Hopefully, these tips will be helpful in your fight against spam in your Inbox.

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