The invention of email brought about a whole new form of communication and is increasingly becoming one of the main ways that people stay in touch. Email has changed the way that we communicate but one unfortunate feature of email that users must deal with is spam or junk mail. Spam includes not only unsolicited commercial email but also criminal fraud schemes, virus attempts, and more. While there is no way to completely rid your inbox of spam, there are some things that can be done to help deal with it.
Spammers are able to obtain email addresses easily, with lists often being created simply by searching the web for email addresses. Legitimate mailing lists can also be stolen and there are directories of email addresses all over the internet. The more often you use the internet, the more likely it is that you will wind up on some kind of junk email list.
What To Do and Not To Do With Junk Email
- If you begin receiving spam messages, you should simply delete them, and do not ever reply to the message. Replying to spam can cause you to receive even more unwanted messages.
- Do not attempt to remove yourself from mailing lists. While it is fine to unsubscribe from legitimate emails such as newsletters that you may no longer wish to receive, you should not unsubscribe from junk email. Often it serves as confirmation to the spammer that your email account is active, resulting in even more spam.
- Most email programs have built in spam filters that work to catch unwanted emails and put them in a junk folder. Some email programs allow you to set up filters in addition to the ones automatically provided in order to further cut down on junk mail.
- You should never try to retaliate when you are receiving spam. Oftentimes, innocent people's email accounts are hijacked and used to send spam so replying is ineffective.
- You should not try to change your email address in an attempt to avoid spam. Junk mail senders tend to use automated harvesting to find addresses and while changing your email might stop spam for a short period, it will only be a matter of time before someone gets ahold of your address and it begins again. Changing email addresses can also be very inconvenient for not only you but those that are attempting to contact you for legitimate reasons.
What is the CAN-SPAM Act?
The CAN-SPAM Act is a law that was passed which sets the rules for commercial emailing. The Act covers not just bulk email but all commercial messages and businesses must comply with the laws or they can face heft non-compliance fines. The CAN-SPAM Act was signed into law in December of 2003 by President George W. Bush. It was the first law of its kind that outlined national standards for commercial email. The law stated that the Federal Trade Commission would be in charge of enforcing all of the provisions of the law.
The CAN-SPAM Act has been proven to work well in preventing businesses from sending spam email. Junk mail unfortunately does continue to be a problem stemming from non legitimate businesses and scammers. Spam filters can help greatly in controlling the flow of spam into your inbox and with the rate at which technology is evolving, there may be other options available in the future for preventing junk email. In the meantime, although you cannot completely stop spam emails, taking some simple precautions should cut down on the amount of junk clogging up your inbox.
More Tips for Preventing Junk Email:
- FTC Consumer Information: Preventing Spam
- Spam: Unwanted Text Messages and Email
- An Introduction to US Anti-Spam Laws
- Dealing With Spam & Other Computer Security Topics
- How to Report Unsolicited Commercial Email
- How Do I Control Spam Email?
- What Are Phishing Scams and How Can I Avoid Them?
- General Overview of Email Bombing and Spamming
- Things You Can Do To Prevent Spam: Handy Steps
Added by Gary Taylor