Stop Junk Email

 

Dear Computer Lady,

Every time I turn my computer on I get anywhere from 10 to 38 junk e-mails  trying  to sell me something or  inform me that I have much money coming, or won thousands of dollars    

I have given up trying  to get them  to stop and have gone through the unsubscribe me portion and nothing works, and it takes too much time to  delete them.

Is there  any way I can get to stop this foolish  business?

Thank You, John B


Dear John,

You are not alone! You are experiencing one of the most common problems in modern email! You might be asking yourself a few questions about these messages like, “where do they come from?” and “how did they get your email address?”. I will try to answer those questions and give you some solutions that will get rid of the messages, or at least reduce them.

I get quite a few of those junk email messages every day. Some of them offer me medicines that will increase body parts that I don’t have, and some of them say they are from young women looking for a date. In my situation, the easiest way that I have found to deal with all the junk messages is to hit the delete key on my keyboard. There are other solutions, but as you will see, not all of them work for everyone.

So, how did you come to be on the receiving end of these foul messages? There are many ways that your address can end up in the hands of a spammer, I am going to list some of the most common ways. 

1. Your email address is listed on a website somewhere. When you leave a comment on a site, sign a guestbook, or have your own site and list your email address as a form of contact, (like I do) your email address becomes public record. Spammers know that there are thousands of email addresses listed on websites across the internet, and they have written software that will search the internet and “harvest” any email address that they find. It really is pretty easy for that software, all it has to do is find a string of text that includes an @ symbol in the middle and that ends with .com or .net. The software creates a list of all the addresses it finds, and those people will soon be getting more junk email than they could have imagined. 

When you sign my guestbook, or leave a comment on my website, the only person who will see your email address is me, and I will never sell or give away your email address.

2. Your email address was used to enter to “win” something. Almost everything you come across on the web is there for a reason, and the reason is usually to make money. My website is no exception. The difference between my website and some others is that I don’t use tricks to make money. There are many sites online that tell you they will make your computer faster if you only fill out this form, or that you are guaranteed to win some great prize if you only sign up here. Unfortunately, the only person who is winning is the website owner who can then sell your email address to the highest bidder. 

3. Your email address was included in a “forwarded” message that ended up in the mailbox of a spammer. I recently read an excellent description of how this can happen on the Ask-Leo website at:

http://ask-leo.com/how_does_using_bcc_help_reduce_spam.html

Once your email address is included on a spammers list, and you have responded to their emails in some way (including your attempts to unsubscribe) your email address will be sold to any spammer willing to pay for it. The fact that you have tried to unsubscribe from the spam messages, lets them know that there is a real person reading their messages, which makes your email address even more valuable to them.

Now that you have an idea of how you came to be on the receiving end of all these junk messages, we can discuss ways to stop getting them. Since we can’t hack into the spammers computers and take our names off their lists, we need to look at ways to block the incoming junk message.

The most drastic way to completely (at least for a while) stop all the junk messages is to change your email address. Yes, this is drastic and you would have to notify all your friends, family, email lists you belong to (like this one) and business associates that your address has changed. Even though it is drastic, this is the fastest way to stop the spam. 

If changing your email address is not an option for you, you will need to find a way to filter out the messages.

If the email program that you are using has a junk email filter, you can turn it on and use it to filter out the offending messages.

 

Windows Mail:

1. Open Windows Mail.
2. Click on “Tools” in the menu bar, then click on “Junk E-mail Options”
3. In the Junk E-mail options window, select the “Options” tab.
4. On the Options page, select the level of protection that you want.
5. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the page to save your selection.

 

Microsoft Outlook:

1. Open Microsoft Outlook
2. Click on “Actions” in the menu bar, point to “Junk E-mail” and click on “Junk E-mail Options”.
3. In the Junk E-mail options window, select the “Options” tab.
4. On the Options page, select the level of protection that you want, and check off any additional settings you wish to use.
5. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the page to save your selection.

 

Mozilla Thunderbird:

1. Open Thunderbird.
2. Click on “Tools” in the menu bar, then click on “Account Settings”
3. Click on “Junk Settings” under your email address.
4. Click on the settings that you want to use in the Junk Settings window.
5. Click “OK” to save your changes and close the window.

Another way to use a great filter, is to open an online email account at google,

www.gmail.com

You can either use the new gmail address that you create, or you can use it to access your regular email account (You can do this by clicking “Settings” in the upper right of the gmail window, then click the “Accounts” tab.) The Gmail filter is automatic, very thorough, and very accurate.

Your last option would be to purchase a spam filtering program.

I will have to talke about this type of program at a later date.

Elizabeth

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