By Andrew Symonds
Over a decade ago, “spam” connoted a certain food product usually enjoyed for breakfast. Today, in the internet age, when people say “spam”, the first thing that comes to mind is junk mail, or those unwanted emails that come into your mailbox offering you all sorts of things from breast and penis enlargements to loans, to bogus offers. Spam tends to take up your mailbox space and eat up your bandwidth resources that it has become such a major problem and annoyance. Recent moves have been made by responsible individuals to push an anti-spamming law to punish those that commit it. And as spamming application grows sophisticated by the minute, the more effort anti-spamming advocates have to exert to thwart this perennial problem.
Individually though, how does one stop spam from coming through the emails? Read on below for some of our suggestions.
Normally, all email clients have built in spam filters and other similar programs to detect and stop spam. But often, these are not enough to protect emails from receiving those annoying emails because as mentioned earlier, spam has become more developed over the years. Fortunately, there are several other third party spam blockers and spam filters which you can download for free and then install on your computers. Some even have additional features that can easily flag phishing scams, or those emails that contain fraudulent messages supposedly coming from big banks and financial companies and are targeting your finances.
What is the difference between spam filters and spam blockers?
Spam filters – Identifies and stops spam which carry certain key words and spam texts before it even reaches the mailbox. The problem though, with many spam filter system is that it may
potentially also block emails coming from legitimate accounts. So make sure that these spam filters are installed properly. Filtering emails does not guarantee a stop to spam, but it can make your Internet activity fairly easier.
Spam blockers – Identifies and stops spam based on assigned blacklist containing the spammers’ email addresses or ISP. The downside of this is some spammers often change their ISP’s and addresses and this may not be assigned in the blacklist. You have to make sure to update your blacklist often.
Whether it’s a spam filter or spam blocker, or both, it is best to monitor and identify what you need versus the features these applications offers before you install your choice into your computer.
The other thing you can do to stop spam is to keep your email addresses separate and private. As most people carry a work email and a string of personal emails, use it for specific purposes only (e.g. work email addresses must strictly be for work only). Then divulge your email address only to persons you would like to exchange emails with. This move should help you stop spam by half.
Use a personal free mail service when signing up online forums, groups or filling out online subscriptions. An email address specifically for these can be regarded as a “throwaway” or a “dummy email” which could serve as a buffer between your other more important emails.
Stopping spam takes a conscious effort. Those email address have to be safeguarded by the user (you) to protect you from many of the harm that Internet use poses.
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