Monday, April 03, 2006

Stop spam from getting into your inbox

It’s surprising easy to protect yourself from spam. Protecting yourself from getting spam has to become a mentality. There are many costs when having to deal with spam. There is the lack of employee time, which lowers employee productivity levels. Furthermore, business email that is incorrectly categorized as spam creates even larger problems then small levels of productivity loss. Email is becoming one of the main avenues for business communication, but incorrectly categorized business emails can slow down important business deals, or worse.

Several major internet service providers, such as America Online, Microsoft, and Earthlink all use Brightmail’s anti-spam technology as a part of their technological arsenal used to fight against spam. Brightmail is not the only service available, but server-side anti-spam technology ultimately works better than client-side anti-spam technology. Server-side technology consists of anti-spam software that is managed by the internet service provider. Client-side technology consists of anti-spam software that is managed by the consumer on their computer.

Also, you have to be very careful where you submit your email address. If you’re submitting your email address to any service that you don’t trust implicitly, then you should setup an alternative email account that is used specially for these transactions. That way, if spam starts to become a problem on that temporary account, you can cancel the account and setup a new username.

Do not put your email address on your website. Email spiders look across all websites looking for email addresses that can be used to spam. These are considered very good email addresses to send emails to by the spammers that are not very successful. These spammers are more likely to use spamming techniques that gets email delivered by breaking criminal law.

If you do start getting emails, unsubscribe yourself from those emails as soon as you get those emails. Very few spammers sink so low as to email their unsubscribes on a regular basis. Spammers understand that these are people who do not want to get email, and that they are vocal about it, and can therefore spammers do not typically want to email these people. By emailing these people, the spammers risk getting their internet service shut down, which is a major problem for a spammer. Ultimately, if you get into a position of getting spammed, you need to try to remove yourself from these emails. This does not always work, as some spammers will email you more after you unsubscribe, but this is not typical.

If a spammer is being persistent, then you can report the spammer to its ISP. This starts to get technical, but you can determine who are hosting the spammers by running this command in msdos (cmd.exe): tracert The last few lines will be the spammers internet service provider. Complain to those businesses by going to their website and finding their abuse section at the internet service provider’s Contact Us section. There are tools that automate this process. SpamCop offers an excellent product that allows a user to easily report spam. This is by far the most effective way to combat spam.

1 comment:

Jesmond Darmanin said...

i do agree completely with you that a server side anti spam works a lot better than a client side one. This of course applies to enterprise environments mostly as most home users would not be able to implement such system