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20 Aug 2013

How to Reduce Your Spam

Here at Profit Gate’s hosting service, we have a Spam Filter called “Spam Assassin”, right on our servers. This filters over 90% of all spam before it reaches our clients (and me). Even so, there is so much of this annoying junk on the net, that even the 10% getting past our filter is sometimes too much.

When I saw over 100 spam emails a day, I got mad.

How mad? Mad enough to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. If you’re with me on this, and mad enough to invest a little of your time, read on.

By spending 15 – 20 minutes a day for several days in a row, I managed to cut my spam down to 20 or 30 a day. What a difference! (Forget about stopping all of it – that ain’t gonna happen, sorry.)

There are two types of “spam” emails – the legal and the illegal.

You can greatly reduce your level of spam by attacking these
systematically. But each type of spam must be attacked differently.

Let’s take each type and go over how to stop them in the future. In
order to tell which type is which, you have to invest a little
time. Look at each spam closely. Here’s what to look for:

Legal Email Ads –

  • These often have nice graphics and may even be a name brand.
  • As required by federal law, they have the company’s name and address somewhere.
  • Most importantly, they always have an “Unsubscribe” link near the bottom that says something like, “If you’d rather not receive future e-mails of this sort, please opt-out here.”

 Illegal Email Ads –

  • These are most often in simple text.
  • They often have links that are fake – hover over the link and see the little popup that shows the actual address it points to; if it does not match the visible link it is fake and often dangerous to click.
  • These emails rarely have a link to unsubscribe. Some do, but when you try to use them, they don’t work.
  • They often have no company name or physical address.

TO STOP LEGAL ADS –

Realize that they use third party firms that send out millions of emails a day. Somehow, you inadvertently gave your permission to be on someone’s mailing list. These lists are bought, sold, and rented all over. You need only find the link to “unsubscribe” and follow instructions. Your email address will then be removed in most cases. It usually takes a week or two for this to happen.

TO STOP ILLEGAL ADS –

Realize that these guys are risking federal prison and major fines. They are very clever at hiding their identity. Therefore, it is not worth the effort to try to track them down. Your main defense is to block them from your email system.

In order to “block” spam, using the most popular email program, Outlook, here’s what you do: (see screenshot below)

  • Go to inbox and Point to the spam email
  • Right click mouse.
  • On the menu, select “Junk E-mail”
  • Click “Add Sender to Blocked Senders List”.

The spam is magically moved to the Junk Email folder. All future mail from that sender also goes straight to junk.

Unfortunately, spammers are clever and use many different FROM addresses. So, blocking them does not always work very well. You have one more option for these pesky vermin – Email Rules. Here’s links to Microsoft’s instructions on how to set up and use them;

– For Outlook 2003 – 2007 –  Click Here

– For Outlook 2010 – Click Here

Basically you just notice some word or phrase  in the spam, for which you can create a rule.

Example: any mail with “Viagra” in the subject line is sent to the junk folder.
Example: any mail with “Gout Pain” in the message body is sent to the junk folder.

I hope this helps you to reduce the wasted time dealing with your daily spam.

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