How to reduce the amount of spam you get – without a spam filter

By | May 28, 2011
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Sammi wants to know what we recommend to stop the spam
What can I do, besides install a spam filter, to help reduce the number of spam emails I get? I love your newsletters and look forward to them every week. Thanks! Sammi

Our Answer
Thanks Sammi! Here are six tips you can use to help reduce the amount of spam you get.

1. Never respond to unsolicited email. One response or “hit” from thousands of emails is enough for spammers to justify the practice. In addition, a response lets the spammer know that your email address is active, which makes it more valuable and opens the door to more spam.

2. Never send your personal information (credit card numbers, passwords, etc.) in an email. Spammers can fake the format of ANY trusted sites. Banks and other trusted sites will never ask you to send your password or credit card information by email. Not really an anti-spam tip, but a reminder… OK?

3. Never follow a spam email’s instructions to reply with the word “remove” or “unsubscribe” in the subject line or body of the message unless you are sure of and trust the source of the email. Normally, this is a ploy to get you to react to the email, which tells the spammer that your email address is valid.

4. Never click on a URL or web address listed within a spam email, even if the message tells you that’s how you unsubscribe. This is another trick to that tells the spammer your email address is valid. Once they know your address is valid it can be added to databases which are sold to professional spammers on DVD or CD for a few hundred dollars. And this will result in you getting more spam for sure!

5. Don’t fall for sites set up to help you remove your name from spam lists. Although some of these sites MIGHT be legitimate, most are really collecting valid email addresses to sell to spammers. If a collector gets your address and they know it’s a valid, working email address, it is worth a lot of money to them. They’ll put your email address in one of their databases and sell these databases to professional spammers. Not only won’t your email address be removed from spam lists, it will added to many spam lists. And you’ll get more spam.

6. Never allow your ISP to convince you that spam filtering is a service. If you have a choice, choose an ISP who does not use spam filtering. While spam filtering might seem to be a service, anytime you allow another person to make choices for you, you’re going to end up with something you don’t like. What you won’t like about ISPs who filter your mail is that you’re not going to get all of your good email either – and you might not even be aware it existed. Do not use ISPs who tout spam-filtering or anti-spam features as a plus. If you don’t have a choice of ISPs in your area and your only choice is an ISP who insists censorship is good for you, get a Gmail account and set it up in Windows Mail, Outlook Express or your favorite email program. Gmail provides instructions on how to do this. And, remember, my fine friends, that Gmail also has spam-filtering too, but luckily for you, you have the final say. If something, like this newsletter, ends up in your spam folder, all you gotta do is mark it “This is not spam” and it will never be dumped in your spam folder again – it will always appear in your inbox where you want it (we hope!).

5 thoughts on “How to reduce the amount of spam you get – without a spam filter

  1. Robert Allan

    Is it not possible to have a program that can send a message back making the sender thing the address is invalid. We all know what happens if we get an e-mail address wrong. We get a mailer daemon type of response with essentially says I have given up trying to send this as the address does not exist. I think most spammers would give up and delete almost immediately.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Any spammer who knows what he’s doing isn’t going to use a valid address anyway. Do you really think a spammer is going to use a real address so people can actually send him email – or bounce emails? Usually they use real addresses – but ones they’ve stolen from real people All you’d be doing is bouncing mail back to some poor soul who had his address stolen or whose computer is compromised by a botnet.

      Reply
  2. Guenther Hoerner

    Thank you for your very good tips and freebees. The only way I try to handle spam is, “block the sender”. However they are smart enough to change their name and come back tomorrow. This morning I had 6 spam messages about getting a Diploma for better job prospects. I think I might have to change my E-mail address to have peace for a while.

    Reply
    1. infoave Post author

      Blocked sender never works because spammers use thousands of random addresses to send email “from”. Blocking a spammers address is like trying to make it stop raining by stopping two or three raindrops 🙂

      Reply
  3. Michael W. Moseley Sr.

    My ISP gives me a choice of what to do with SPAM. I opt to put it in my delete box so I can review it before permanently deleting it. So check your options.

    Reply

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