Sounds friendly enough, eh? At least this person gives me a way to get removed from his list. DON'T REPLY!
All of the above examples are real e-mails that I've received. Believe me, they try anything. Don't get hooked.
Don't believe them. DON'T REPLY!
Another common trick is to send you an e-mail telling you to go to a particular web site (for any reason).
You figure, no big deal, what harm can there be in just visiting a web page. When you click the
link in the e-mail message, it automatically takes you there. Well, it's very easy to setup a custom link for
each recipient of their e-mail message. Therefore, when you click the link, they know that you've received their
message, and your e-mail address is valid. So don't visit web sites mentioned in e-mails, unless you're familiar
with the sender or the purpose of the message.
Ask Your ISP
Your ISP may have some solutions to help reduce spam.
Remember that when someone sends you an e-mail, it does not go directly from their computer to yours.
It actually goes from their computer, out to the internet through their ISP, to your ISP. It then sits in a
mailbox on a computer at your ISP's office until you go online and download your incoming e-mail.
So, since all of your incoming e-mail literally goes through your ISP's computers, they may be able
to offer a solution to help reduce your spam.
And if they do, then it usually means that it is a solution that will require less work on your part (versus a
solution where you handle everything on your computer). Therefore, I recommend trying whatever your ISP has to offer.
Just Handle It
On average, I receive about 611 e-mail messages every day.* Do the math. If I spend an average of only 1 minute reading and replying
to to each message (some longer, some not), that would take up way too much of my time, every day, 7 days a week.
Obviously, most of that e-mail is junk. So I ignore most of it. And here's how I do it.
First of all, I use Eudora Pro for my e-mail. Many people use Outlook or Outlook
Express or some other popular program. Any good e-mail program will allow you to do what I do.
I use filters (AKA rules) to sort all of my incoming e-mail. I have one filter setup for every person I converse with by
e-mail. If I start conversing with a new person, whether it's a personal contact or a new client or whoever, I create a
new folder to hold all of their e-mail, and I create a filter that says if any message comes in from their address, put
it in their folder. As I write this, I have over 400 filters defined. So, if a message comes in and does not meet the criteria
of any of my filters, then it simply ends up in my general In box.
Therefore, I know that most of the messages in my general In box are junk. I say most because obviously, if I
receive a valid message from a relative or a prospective client who has never e-mailed me before, it goes to my In box.
So I can't simply trash everything in my In box. But I do know that 95% of everything in there is trash. And if I don't
recognize who the message is from and if the subject line does not interest me, then I delete it without
even opening it or reading the message. It's that simple. As I explained above, I just don't have time to read 611 incoming e-mails
Remember that just because you receive an e-mail message doesn't mean you have to open it and read it.
You are allowed to trash it without opening it.
Spam Filter Software
In April 2003, I started testing a spam filter program called SpamAssassin.
So far, it's working well. It's installed on the server where my e-mail is hosted.
So if you want to use it, you'd have to contact your ISP and see if they offer it.
Suffice it to say that I will continue to use and test it, and I'll probably add more info about it here in the future.
There are also some other software programs that you can install on your computer to handle spam.
I have not used any of these, so I can't recommend them.
But based on recommendations I've read, they seem to do the job well:
PCWorld has a feature in their May 2003 issue called
Natural-Born Spam Killers.
Perhaps you will find that interesting.
My average daily incoming e-mail count increases every month.
In July 2002, it was 140. In April 2003, it was up to 611.