Junk mail is a fact of life. We get it in our physical mailboxes, and we get in our email inboxes. Eletronic junk mail, commonly known as Spam, is a nuisance. Sifting through dozens of unwanted solicitations for that important email is a serious waste of time and money. At the very least searching for something relevant in the tide of unsolicited advertisements can seriously tax anyone’s patience. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to protect your email from spam:
- Give out your email address sparingly-If you’re not certain how your email address is going to be used, don’t give it out to any mailing list or service that requires an email address to register.
- Create an email account just for spam-Hotmail and Yahoo both offer free email accounts that can easily be used as disposable accounts. If you have to use and email account to register for something, simply use this email account. If it becomes inundated with spam you can simply delete it and start another one. Most ISPs allow you to create several email accounts under a single subscription. You could use one of these as a disposable spam-catching account.
- Set rules in Outlook-A little used feature in Outlook and Outlook Express is the ability to set mail rules. Using this feature you can direct email to a specified folder, or delete unwanted messages from the server before they’re even delivered. Mail rules are located under the “tools” menu.
- Use a third party spam-filter-There are numerous spam-filtering softwares available for purchase or that may be downloaded for free. Do some research and pick the one that fits your needs.
- Use server-side protection-Most ISPs now offer spam filtering as part of their mail service. ISPs that offer this service manage spam on the server-side of things so messages are captured and removed before ever being sent to your inbox. Those interested in having email on their own domain name or website may consider Spam Assassin. Spam Assassin is a freely available server-side spam filter that can be installed on a server. Many hosting packages include this feature.