Wham, bam, no thank you Spam

Fight back

Most ISPs have a special e-mail address for reporting spam. Be sure to forward the junk mail's entire header. To display it in Eudora, hit the Blah Blah button. In Netscape Messenger, select View-Headers-All. In Outlook Express, open the message, select File-Properties and click Details. You'll need to cut and paste the header into the message you forward. On America Online, send messages to tosspam@aol.com. Or mail your spam to the Spam Recycling Center (spamrecycle@ChooseYourMail.com), which will forward the message to software companies to help them improve their filtering tools.

Just say no

Review the privacy policy of any Web site before offering your e-mail address (or any personal information) and be sure to "opt out" if you don't want to receive marketing e-mail. If no privacy policy is posted, take your business elsewhere.

Open a spam account

Foil spammers by using a free Web-based e-mail address (like Yahoo or HotMail) or a different AOL screen name for public postings and Web site registration, saving your private address for friends and associates. When the spam account fills up, simply dump the trash.

Alter your newsgroup address

If you must use your regular e-mail address when posting to newsgroups, insert no-spam in the From: or Reply-to: fields - for example, no-spam-jane_smith@bigisp.com. Any junk mail sent to that address will be returned to the sender and those who wish to reply to your message can simply delete 'no-spam' from the address.

Be anonymous

Set your browser so it doesn't provide your e-mail address as the password when you download files from anonymous FTP connections. In Netscape Messenger 4.5, go to Edit-Preferences and click Advanced. Delete the check mark next to Send e-mail as anonymous FTP password. Click OK. In Internet Explorer 5, head to Tools-Internet Options and click the Security tab. Highlight the Internet icon under the content zone box and then click the Custom Level button. In the Security settings box, scroll down to User Authentication/Logon and click Anonymous logon.

Filter your mail

Most ISPs offer spam-filtering options, but some filters nuke legitimate e-mail as well - messages from mailing lists, for example. On the other hand, most e-mail programs provide filters that will send junk mail either directly to the trash or to a review folder, where you can sort through it later (and avoid deleting legitimate mail by mistake). Eudora Pro offers the best set of filtering tools. But if you don't have it, arm yourself with the newest version of Outlook Express, Netscape Messenger, or Eudora Light, which let you set rules to sift out any e-mail that isn't addressed specifically to you. (For more information about software filters, see the "Can the Spam" file.)Don't respondMany consumers unwittingly confirm their e-mail address by responding to the "remove" option included in junk e-mail. Although some marketers do honour such requests, you're more likely to wind up on a spammer's CD of live accounts and generate even more mail.

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Roberta Furger

PC World
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