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How to Avoid Spam

by Claire Siskin

"Spam" is unwanted and unsolicited email. Not only can it be intrusive and distracting, but it is often of questionable content. Here are some tips on how to avoid it:

  • Notify your Internet service provider (ISP), which may be able to block certain addresses.
  • Never respond to spam, regardless of the temptation. Your response only serves to confirm your email address.
  • Do not permit your name and email address to be used in public web-based directories.
  • When you register for a product or service online, uncheck the box that says you will be sent email (unless you really want to be notified by that company or organization).
  • Use a primary email address for associates, family, and friends. Use another email address for listservs (electronic mailing lists) and chat rooms.This will make it easier for you to separate your legitimate messages from spam.
  • Set up filters if your email software has this capability. Messages with objectionable words can be filtered into a separate mailbox and discarded.
  • Use an email address with a combination of letters or numbers. This will lessen the likelihood that spammers will send you messages aimed at electronically-generated email addresses.

Even if you follow the above steps, you may not be able to prevent spam altogether. But you should be able to reduce it by a significant amount.

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