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PC Security - Stopping Spam
Part 1: Strategies

Spam is a big problem for many. It takes time, resources, and in some cases money to battle. Unfortunately, it is always a battle that never ends. As you block one group of spammers, other spam is making its way to your email box, a whole new group of spammers are coming online, or the old spammers are using new spam email addresses to send spam from. To many, it seems like a no-win situation that just goes on and on. There are options that make the battle easier to fight, however.

Fortunately, addresses that spammers use are gathered by programs - they are not individually, manually harvested. Because a program is used, a program can fight it. Before using such spam fighting programs, however, one must first understand how spammers operate. When you know how they do it, it is easier to fight.

The most common tool used by spammers are spambots. This software scans websites looking for email addresses. When it finds one, it adds the email address to the list. The list grows very, very large, and is eventually used to send spam by the person running the spambot, or sold to those spammers who do not have spambots.

You have a couple of ways to fight spambots. First, you can opt to not use your real email address on websites, such as webpages or forums, or you could use a throw away email address to collect spam, such as a Yahoo email account, if the site requires an email address, but the email won't require interaction from you. The other option is to use your real email address, but instead of typing it as, you could type it as you at your domain dot com. A spambot would not recognize this as an email address, because it only appears as text.

This doesn't mean that your email won't still be harvested, but it won't be harvested nearly as much. Furthermore, it generally requires the spammer collecting the email addresses to 'scrub' it so that it will work in their spamming software (the email type client that they use to send out the spam).

The disadvantage of this is that humans who really do need your address, for legitimate purposes, such as customers, will have to reformat the address before they can send you email. Some may not be Internet/Computer savvy enough to realize that you are writing your email address in such a way as to cut down on spam either.

You should be using spam filters. Most email services and clients now include built-in spam filters. These should always be turned on. However, note that some will actually view some mail as spam, even if it is not. Spam filters operate by looking for certain words. If a personal email arrives and contains words that are commonly associated with spam, such as 'making money,' it will most likely hit the spam folder. Never delete the messages in your spam folder without first glancing through to make sure that there is not any personal email in there.

These two methods for fighting spam are just the start. Again, the battle rages on, but by implementing these two strategies, you will find that you start receiving less spam than you have been.

  PC Security: Index
  PC Security: Internet Browsers
  PC Security: Spam
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 1
  PC Security: Stopping Spam Part 2
  PC Security: Spam Scams
  PC Security: Email Security and Spam
  PC Security: Email Security
  PC Security: Computer Viruses
  PC Security: Protecting Computers From Viruses
  PC Security: Worm Viruses
  PC Security: Trojan Horse Viruses
  PC Security: Rootkits
  PC Security: Removing a Virus
  PC Security: Virus Hoaxes
  PC Security: Server Viruses
  PC Security: Home Network
  PC Security: Cell Phone Viruses
  PC Security: Spyware
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 1
  PC Security: Firewalls Part 2
  PC Security: Parental Control Software
  PC Security: Malware - Spyware and Adware
  PC Security: Data Backups
  PC Security: Pop Up Windows
  PC Security: Safe Public Computer Use

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