Spam, Spam, Spam


Top Five Tips to Squash Spam Proven tricks to outwit evil spammers.
By Leslie Ayers @ TechTV

Is your delete finger numb from squashing the spam from your in-box? Read our top 5 tips that stop evil spammers before they can get to you.

Stay anonymous.

Spammers use email robots called mailbots to collect addresses from newsgroups and the Web.

You can outwit them. Never add your address to Internet email directories. When you're on the Web, leave the email address field in generic Web forms blank, or supply a decoy address. (There are now thousands of websites that offer free email accounts; here's a complete list.)

For especially delicious spam redirection, give the email address of your least favorite online company -- e.g. webmaster@[insert company name here].com.

Confuse spammers by using two email accounts.

Make one your primary account that you give out to friends, family, and colleagues. Use the other account for mailing lists, newsgroups, or Web forms.

If your ISP doesn't provide a second address at no charge, get a free Web-based email account.

Scramble your address.

If you post public messages to newsgroups or Web discussion boards, you can limit the amount of junk sent to you by practicing address munging (also called spoofing).

Adding extra characters or words to your outgoing address confuses mailbots. You can make the change in your email application's preferences. If your real address is, a scrambled version would be

Be sure to add instructions in your signature file that explain how to decode your address so you can receive legitimate replies, but don't include your actual email address because mailbots scan the contents of all posts.

Screen the spam.

Your email software's filtering tools can block unwanted messages automatically. Here are some things you can set your email filters to look for:
You can add much stronger antispam powers to your email application with a spam filter such as the one provided by Airstream Communications.

Never respond directly to junk mail.

A reply verifies to the spammer that your email address is active. If you're riled up enough about it, complain to the ISP that hosts the spammer.

Figuring out where junk mail originated can be tricky, however. Open the message and look for IP addresses or domains within parentheses in the header's Received lines (information outside the parentheses could be faked), then verify them using SpamCop.

Once you've identified the most likely culprit, use SpamCop to report it or visit the Network Abuse Clearinghouse for the appropriate contacts, and send a message requesting that they help stop spam coming from the offending domains.