Tips to avoid and reduce SPAM

I don’t think there’s anyone who likes getting junk e-mail. I can’t stand it, and I tend to think very little of the class of people we call spammers. I was overjoyed to learn about the arrests of two of this country’s most notorious spammers this month in Virginia (they’re both from North Carolina). If you’re already getting a lot of junk mail and you want to stop it, the best option is to start fresh with a new e-mail address. The following tips will keep you from getting more!

Avoid posting your e-mail address online. This is especially true when posting to chat rooms or newsgroups, displaying your e-mail on auction and sales sites. Spammers often scavenge these sites to find e-mail addresses to add to their lists.

Don’t list your e-mail address directly on a Web page, even your own-as a “contact us” or “click to e-mail” name. Instead use an alias or secondary account, such as info or sales, that you can delete later if necessary.

Don’t use e-mail addresses that are easy to guess like a first name of This can also increase your chances of receiving spam.

Never respond to spam even if you are asking to be deleted. Responding will most likely increase the quantity of unwanted mail you receive simply because the spammer knows your address is active.

Block unwanted e-mails from a specific spammer using filters inside your e-mail program. This feature is available in most standard e-mail programs, simply type “filters” into the help section for instructions for your program.

Read fine print when filling out online forms. Be careful! You usually are asked if you wish to receive further information. Usually the box is checked by default.

Your ISP should be providing junk mail and virus filtering for you. If they aren’t, there’s really not any excuse. Please stick with your local ISP, rather than a huge national ISP. Let’s not contribute to the disappearance of the independent ISP. Local ISPs can do everything the big ones can, and the people who are doing it live in your communities.

If you’re using a local ISP, and have talked to them about mail filtering, and they have not responded by implementing anything, maybe they’re concerned about cost. In any case, feel free to have them get in touch with me. There are ways! It doesn’t have to cost tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars!