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Beginners Guides: Stopping Spam e-Mails

Beginners Guides: Stopping Spam e-Mails - PCSTATS
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Abstract: According to one recent opinion, over 45% of all email sent over the Internet is unwanted and uninvited.
Filed under: Beginners Guides Published:  Author: 
External Mfg. Website: PCSTATS Nov 27 2006   Mike Dowler  
Home > Reviews > Beginners Guides > PCSTATS

Beginners Guides: Stopping Spam e-Mails


As the Vikings in Monty Python's skit sang "spam, spam, spam...... spam!" little did the world know that spam would one day threaten the very usefulness of the Internet & E-mail. Well young grasshopper, we've got a few points on how to get rid of that 'damn spam.' - Version 1.0.1

Besides being the best illustration to date of Monty Python's deathless grasp on popular culture,junk email, unsolicited commercial email, or good old 'spam', is an issue that affects every email user, and by extension, every computer user. The use of email as a mass-marketing tool has become an epidemic particular to the current global use of computers in our society.

According to one recent opinion, over 45% of all email sent over the Internet is unwanted and uninvited. This is a conservative estimate, we would say. While an average email account may start out pristine and useful, it quickly accumulates layers of spam like the age rings of a tree, until the whole thing collapses under its own weight. Private addresses are bad enough, but lord help you if you function with a public email address like we do. So what to do about it? Many processes have been set in motion to declare spam illegal, but as yet no law exists to really regulate it. Even the recently enacted "Can Spam Act" in the United States offers only legal distinctions between what is, and isn't, a legal commercial email format.

The best way of dealing with spam currently is through avoidance and redirection. If you use email, sooner or later you will start receiving spam; but if you can redirect this spam to a location where you don't have to look at it, it won't do you any harm. It's sort of like the 'if a tree falls in the forest...' question. If spam lands in an inbox, and no one is there to read it, does it really exist? Answer is, who cares?

Before PCstats tells you how to get rid of that unwanted commercial email, how to avoid in the first place, or even how to block what we now call 'spam,' we should tell you that 'SPAM' refers to the meat-in-a-can food product from Hormel Foods. The lower case word 'spam' refers the annoying advertisements and junk email you find filling your mail box... If you can believe it, Hormel Foods actually took the time to lay out the ground rules so its lively tinned food product is not confused with Unsolicited Commercial Email, or 'UCE' as it is officially titled.

Let's look at what spam is and how to filter it out of your life like the hairball in your sink.

How does spam work?

At its simplest, spam is the mass mailing of a single email to thousands, millions or billions of recipients. The spam perpetrator ('spammer') obtains a list of valid email addresses from one of several sources (more on this later), then fires out as many emails as he or she wants, hoping to get one or two percent of profitable responses. Commercial spam is like telemarketing on steroids. Instead of one call at a time, you can send thousands of emails in a very short period, with really no expense besides the bandwidth necessary to mail out all that email, or just the cost of the Internet connection itself.

The second most common source of spam are the many email propagating viruses, or 'worms' on the Internet. Once a computer is infected with one of these programs, it will email a copy of the virus accompanied by a sometimes deceptive, often inane message, to every email address known by the system. If these emails are opened, the worm will reproduce itself exponentially, creating more junk email, etc. etc.

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Contents of Article: PCSTATS
 Pg 1.  — Beginners Guides: Stopping Spam e-Mails
 Pg 2.  What Makes Spam Tick?
 Pg 3.  Techniques to Avoiding Spam
 Pg 4.  How to institute message rules
 Pg 5.  Filtering with Message Rules
 Pg 6.  Spam Blocking/Filtering Software
 Pg 7.  Working with POPfile

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