Spam I Am? – Squash the Spam Monster Invading Your Inbox

By: Dave Baughn

Email is the quickest, easiest way to communicate with friends and family, getting to them in a matter of seconds, as opposed to the regular postal service which takes days. Just like regular mail, you are bound to get junk mail, SPAM that you have to sort out and throw away. 

What is so bad about SPAM – I am? SPAM is detested because it wastes our time.  Who cares about the umpteen mortgage offers, online prescriptions, Viagra, some stock market tip, etc?  We have to be relentlessly savvy about our email. We all know that if it didn’t come from someone we know or trust, or some cool newsletter we signed up to receive, that it probably isn’t worth looking at.

So how do we fix this SPAMMING problem? 

1. Take some personal responsibility.  Stop subscribing to every popup advertisement that catches your eye.  If you did this with QVC or HSN you would go broke, but you think nothing about signing up for a FREE X-BOX 360, FREE COUPON to eat at some local restaurant, if you fill out this survey, etc.  We have all seen the flashing lights and colorful advertising and they trigger something deep within our brain to react.  --Click on the “x" in the upper right-hand corner of that window and close it!

2. Another is to create filters for your email that scan EVERY email as it comes in.

If email contains certain keywords (you can spell them the same as they appear in the emails) the action deletes them. Or you can create a Junk mail folder, and have them sent there instead, then you only have to scan that folder to decide whether they are legitimate or not. This is already partially done for you in the latest versions of Microsoft’s Outlook and Outlook Express.

3. Create a FREE email with Yahoo!, MSN Hotmail, Google’s GMAIL or another such type and if you NEED to subscribe to something questionable, use that email address and leave your personal email private.

4. Don’t forward a “Forward" from someone else.  I DON’T CARE HOW CUTE IT IS or HOW FUNNY or HOW “IMPORTANT" you think it is.  If you must forward it on, take the extra moment to copy and paste the text of the message to a new email and send it. Why?  Viruses.  If  your email is included with dozens of others, eventually someone is going to get their hands on that list, usually due to a virus being on the computer that receives the email and the virus reads the email addresses and sends itself back to you or on to someone else and it looks like it came from you.  THIS IS NOT GOOD!!!

5. You could invest in software or check with your Internet Service Provider (ISP) and see if they offer SPAM filtering as part of their service.  NOTE:  Experience has taught me that SPAM filters, although they work relatively well, tend to block legitimate email and can cause you to miss an important meeting, event or offer that would have been worthy of reading or knowing about.

6 Whatever you do, DON'T reply to SPAM email.  This entices them to send you more. Up to that moment, they are not sure that your email address is a valid one, but the moment you reply back to them, WHAM!!! live body. Your email address goes into another list that can be sold as HOT email addresses and you get bombarded with MORE!!!!

Bottom line is, be smart, be courteous and be conscientious about how you handle the messages that come in.  If you don’t want to read it, DELETE it.  If it’s a Forward and you think it’s cute, remember that ALL the people in your address book might not think it is so.  Be selective. Follow these Six SPAM Tips and you will be well on your way to squashing the SPAM monster in your inbox. 

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