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SPAM: The best defense is to understand

Posted by Charles on 02-18-2005 @ 03:38 AM in • Help

Technology alone cannot stop junk mail - nor can governmental intervention - and neither can we.

There are a variety of ways that you might end up on a spammer’s mailing list; there are various methods they use to send you spam. Your best defense is to understand the nature of spam and choose the best strategy based on your environment and internet usage habits. The trick is to get rid of the spam without losing legitimate email.

For the individual or small business user, you might want to look at these:
Mailwasher (FREE Version or $29.95/year for PRO Version)
Mailwasher is a program that you run prior to checking your email. It allows you to preview the email on the server and mark it as ok to download, delete it, etc… The free version and the paid version are primarily the same thing with some limitations in the free version. The free version only allows you to check one email account and does not use the centralized lists of known spam compiled elsewhere.

The pro (paid) version allows multiple accounts and ties into multiple lists of known spam compiled by other users and groups.

The only drawback (and sometimes benefit) to mailwasher is that it is a separate program. You run mailwasher and then launch your email from there after it (or you) has scanned your mailbox.

Read a review at about.com .

I Hate Spam - $19.95/year
I hate spam is an add-on to Outlook 2000, XP, or 2003 that provides advanced mail filtering capabilities. Like Mailwasher, it uses centralized lists of known spam to provide its own filtering capabilities. Unlike mailwasher, it is not a separate program you would need to run - but in essence you end up downloading all the mail, including junk, when you check your mail.

HOW DO YOU GET ON A SPAMMER’S MAILING LIST?

Free Email Accounts
White Page Listings
Bogus Mailing Lists
Signing up with a company who purports to be in the business of removing you from a spam list.
Requesting removal from a mailing that you never requested.
Having an address that is easy to guess.
Posting to newsgroups.
Get rich schemes
Credit cards for people with bad credit.
Multi-level marketing.
HOW DO THEY DO IT?
Anonymous bulk mailing software.
Fake return addresses
Viruses
Robots scanning the web for ‘visible’ email addresses.
HOW CAN YOU PROTECT YOURSELF FROM SPAM?
GET AN ANTI-VIRUS SCANNER AND KEEP IT UPDATED. The most popular are McAfee®, Norton Anti-virus®, and Panda® (we like Panda).
Several new viruses are released every day; make sure your anti-virus software is configured for daily updates.
DON’T open email from anyone that you don’t know.
DON’T reply to spam.
DON’T unsubscribe from something you never subscribed to.
IF YOU HAVE A WEBSITE, USE A CONTACT FORM instead of a visible email address.
PURCHASE A COMMERCIAL MAIL FILTERING PACKAGE. There are a variety of commercial applications and online services designed to filter your incoming email.

For the individual or small business user, you might want to look at these:
Mailwasher (FREE Version or $29.95/year for PRO Version)
Mailwasher is a program that you run prior to checking your email. It allows you to preview the email on the server and mark it as ok to download, delete it, etc… The free version and the paid version are primarily the same thing with some limitations in the free version. The free version only allows you to check one email account and does not use the centralized lists of known spam compiled elsewhere.

The pro (paid) version allows multiple accounts and ties into multiple lists of known spam compiled by other users and groups.

The only drawback (and sometimes benefit) to mailwasher is that it is a separate program. You run mailwasher and then launch your email from there after it (or you) has scanned your mailbox.

Read a review at about.com .

I Hate Spam - $19.95/year
I hate spam is an add-on to Outlook 2000, XP, or 2003 that provides advanced mail filtering capabilities. Like Mailwasher, it uses centralized lists of known spam to provide its own filtering capabilities. Unlike mailwasher, it is not a separate program you would need to run - but in essence you end up downloading all the mail, including junk, when you check your mail.

Everything I have read about this gives it rave reviews - read a review here.

Spam Assassin - FREE (Open Source)
If you have a server, you might want to consider Spam Assassin. If you have a commercially hosted website, chances are they are using Spam Assassin to protect the server that routes your email. It is also used by larger companies on internal servers, and is embedded into various firewall appliances used by larger companies.
OTHER RESOURCES

Spam Abuse.Net
Using Microsoft Outlook & Outlook Express Rules and organization to filter your own mail.

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