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No Spam

How to Filter SPAM E-mail

No Spam
Larry James



Spam is a classic form of polution!

The obvious best way to avoid SPAM e-mail is to never give your e-mail address to anyone. That won't work, right?

E-mail addresses are regularly harvested by web robots looking for new e-mail addresses to sell to the spammers. When you are active on the Internet, e.g., go to chat rooms, or just visit web sites, you can be an unwitting target.

To keep your e-mail address private I suggest that you have one e-mail address you share only with your very close friends and a second e-mail address that you use to go surfin' the "net" in public.

Spammers will often tell you that you can be removed from their e-mail list by sending an e-mail to a specified e-mail address. Don't believe it. When you do the spammer will then know your e-mail is active and may send more spam or even sell your e-mail address to other spammers.

If you want to join the ranks of us SPAM Fighters, it is wise to set up "spam filters" on your e-mail accounts. Although they are not totally fool-proof, the filters do a fairly good job of automatically filtering out the junk-mail before it ends up in your "inbox."

How do you do this? I thought you would never ask.

In Outlook Express:   Select TOOLS, then MESSAGE RULES. Select MAIL. Next you can select the conditions. You can make mail from your children a certain color, flag mail from your mother-in-law, etc. Here is the best part, you can filter out either mail containing certain words or phrases or mail from certain people.

For example. . . check WHERE THE MESSAGE BODY CONTAINS CERTAIN WORDS, and select under ACTION that you want to DELETE the message. Next, under RULE DESCRIPTION, click on the list of words in blue and type in the words you think spammers use to get to you. I filter out all mail containing "XXX" and "Adults Only" and "Get Rich Quick" and many others. Save each action as a new rule.

NOTE: It may be helpful to save some of the SPAM e-mail you receive for several weeks and make a note of the words that spammers use in the subject so you will have the more accurate keywords to add to your e-mail filter.

In Eudora Pro:   Click on TOOLS, then FILTERS. Select NEW, then check the INCOMING box. Next, select what content you wnat searched, e.g., the message header, the "from" line, or the body of the message, etc., and tell it under ACTION to TRANSFER the item to the TRASH. A good place for it, I might add.

In Netscape Messenger:   Click EDIT, then MESSAGE FILTERS. Click NEW, then fill in the keywords you want to filter. For example, if the body of the message contains "Adults Only," then DELETE or folder TRASH, if you still want them on your computer for a while.

In America Online:   Enter keyword SPAM and you will find the "Junk Mail Controls" for your e-mail account. You will also find parental controls to keep your kids a little more safe from the Internet Boogie Men. Click on JUNK MAIL, then SET UP MAIL CONTROLS. The filters in AOL are not as good as those with other e-mailers, but you can ban domains and other things. As I said before, it is wise to look at the SPAM e-mail you receive to jot down the keywords, domain names, etc., for insertion in the e-mail filter of your e-mail account.

You may have to update your filters periodically because spammers traditionally are inventing new key words, subject lines, etc., to get your attention. The more you work at adding stuff to your filters, the more you will become adept in finding the keywords that spammers always have in their e-mail.

When you take the time to update your e-mail filter with a few keywords, including X-rated ones, the sooner your inbox will be relatively spam-free. Notice I said, "relatively." There is no absolute cure to stopping SPAM e-mail unless you decide to give up your e-mail address. Most of us are unwilling to do that.

It's been estimated that somewhere between 30 and 50 million e-mail messages are sent every day in the world. It's sad that about 90% are SPAM or junk-mail, or that's what it seems to be to me.

To help put an end to all those unwanted messages clogging up your in-box, register for free at the Network Abuse Clearinghouse. Then, the next time you receive junk e-mail or anonymous harassment, you can make sure it gets sent along to the proper authority at the originating Internet domain. Yes, it takes a little of your time, but your mailbox (not to mention your Delete key) will be ever so thankful for the breather.

The SpamCon Foundation protects e-mail as a viable communication and commerce medium by supporting measures to reduce the amount of unsolicited email that crosses private networks, while ensuring that valid email reaches its destination. Here you will find antispam help for recipients, marketers, legal information and more.

Avoid E-mail Harvestors - Here you will find a nice Java Script you can use to hide your e-mail addresses listed on your web pages.

Ever wonder how your e-mail ends up on a spammer's lists. Find out here.

You might try buying some spam-blocking software. Go to http://downloads-zdnet.com.com/2001-20-0.html?legacy=cnet to begin your search.

MegaDog's Anti-Spam Zone takes aim at e-mail spam. Proclaiming that "spammers' free speech ends where my Internet account begins," MegaDog offers anti-spam techniques and the words to SpamSpotting, based on the theme to the movie "Transporting." You'll also find links to other anti-spam newsgroups.

SpamCopwww.SpamCop.net - Here's a great concept for those of you who would like to follow-through by reporting spam to the admistrator. SpamCop helps you punish spammers for sending you their junk mail. This service is free. Their moto: "Protecting the internet community through technology, not legislation."

Spam Recycling CenterSpam Recycling Center - ChooseYourMail.com, F.R.E.E. and the Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (CAUCE) have joined forces to create the Spam Recycling Center. The Spam Recycling Center gives you a convenient, and free outlet to report and send your spam to them. Use this e-mail address: SpamRecycle@ChooseYourMail.com and be sure to include your state abbreviation in the subject line when you send the spam. This enables them to pass it on to your representative. The Spam Recycling Center also makes your Spam available to software companies to improve their spam filter products.

CAUCE
Coalition Against Unsolicited Commercial E-mail
- Links to sites devoted to spam-fighting and related activities.

More Spam e-mail info at: www.computerproblems.com.

www.SpamLaws.com - Efforts to create federal laws dealing with unsolicited commercial e-mail may be stalled, but at this writing (9/12/01), 18 states have addressed spam with a variety of laws. Most make it a crime for a sender of bulk e-mail to falsify the routing information that indicates the origin of the message. Check all the latest laws that relate to spam e-mail worldwide. There are links to the United States, European Union and other countries, plus numerous articles.

What is the NAI? The NAI (Network Advertising Initiative) is a cooperative group of network advertisers. They have developed a set of privacy principles, in conjunction with the Federal Trade Commission. Choose this site to "opt-out" from several company's who frequently send spam e-mail.  more. . .

It's not a scam! - Have you received an e-mail urging you to call a toll-free opt-out number, hand over your Social Security number and other personal information? It's really true. The spammed opt-out opportunity sent by e-mail that has sent ripples of doubt and panic through consumerland is for real - even if its "facts" aren't totally accurate. The telephone number - 1-888-567-8688 - was indeed set up by the national credit bureaus to comply with federal law. By calling it, consumers can opt-out of "pre-approved credit offers" with a single phone call - and not only score some points in the jihad against junk snail-mail but also take a small step for protecting privacy. Click here to read an article by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse called, "Confusing E-Mail about Opt-Out Number Sends the Wrong Message."

FAX Spam is Also a Problem - The Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. § 227, makes it a violation of federal law for a person to use any telephone facsimile machine, computer, or other device to send an unsolicited advertisement (a "junk fax" or "FAX Spam") to a telephone facsimile machine. What to do?  more.

Discover the "source" of SPAM! - Offshore casinos. Viagra clinics. Virtual houses of ill repute. Want to trace to where it came from? Check the message header. In Outlook 2000, simply open the SPAM message, click View, then Options, and you'll see the header. The "Received: from" lines will tell you where the message originated. Multiple entries occur when your mail has been automatically forwarded from account to account, and the last (or bottom) entry reveals the originating address. You may only discover an IP address (numbers, in a form such as 168.192.0.1) or a domain name (e.g., spammercentral.com).

Take the E-mail Sanity Pledge - Raise your right hand and repeat after me:  "Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited e-mail message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community!"

Follow the links to more great Internet info!

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