ISP Review - Tips For Avoiding SPAM
Tips For Avoiding SPAM
By: Mark Jackson - January 16th 2007 : Page 2 -of- 3
"Through personal testing we also found that most e-mail unsubscribe links do not appear to work"

5. Never respond to SPAM

Replying to a SPAM e-mail, even with a ‘remove’ request, is more likely to tell the SPAMMER that your address is valid and consequently you could receive more junk instead of less. Through personal testing we also found that most e-mail unsubscribe links do not appear to work, even where a message returns claiming they have. Best avoided.

6. Avoid ‘opening’ (reading) SPAM e-mails

Many SPAM messages use glossy HTML and images, with some data being loaded from remote websites and servers. These e-mails often contain imbedded code that tells the SPAMMER when the message has been opened, thus allowing them to validate your address and continue sending more junk.

Most e-mail clients will have an option that allows you to click through the subject title of messages without the body itself being read/loaded. This can often be difficult to find due to differing methods, thus it may simply be easier to go offline while reading your mail.

7. Disable HTML e-mail reception and or Image loading

Disabling HTML and or 'Image' (picture) loading could cause problems with the format of some messages; however it can also stop automated systems, such as the method noted above, from working and thus help to cut down on junk.

Unfortunately not all e-mail software will support such options, yet others may do so automatically. For example, Mozilla's Thunderbird client will not load e-mail images unless you specifically choose to allow it. Most modern clients also use a degree of intelligence to block unsigned (imbedded) code from running and thus communicating with remote servers.

MS Outlook Express v6+ includes an option to disable HTML, although it's not very obvious. Goto the 'Tools' menu and select 'Options' from the list, then select the 'Read' tab. Under 'Reading Messages' there should be an option for 'Read all messages in plain text', tick it.

8. Does your ISP have a policy or filtering for SPAM?

Check the terms and conditions (T&C’s) of your provider to see if they have any kind of policy on SPAM. Some may filter junk e-mails or offer optional services to do so, while others could take action against the victims (that’s you) simply because they receive too much junk (affects ISP bandwidth).

In this case prevention is better than cure since many filtering technologies can also erase legitimate messages. Regardless, ISP's that at least offer you the 'option' of filtering are better than those that provide nothing.

9. Avoid free e-mail providers

Free e-mail providers, such as Microsoft’s Hotmail, may be cheap and easy, but they’re also vulnerable to SPAM. These are well recognised services and thus frequently targeted by SPAMMERS, so much so that any filtering services (those offered by the system) can often be overcome by the sheer volume of junk.

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