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Internet Safety

3 Ways to Reduce Spam If You are Already Getting Some


1. Find out whether your existing ISP or email provider has spam filtering as an option.

Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo both offer you the option to filter spam. Yahoo's is just on or off, but even when it's on, all filtered junk mail goes into a bulk mail folder, so you can easily review it to see whether anything that is not junk is getting filtered.

Hotmail has three levels of filtering. If you turn on the strictest level, make sure you "whitelist" all your friends and any companies from which you want to hear. Otherwise they may be filtered out by mistake.

Google has a mail program called Gmail that also has an excellent spam filter. AOL has filtered spam for years. Earthlink just announced that they would be filtering spam.

By default, the filtered mail is not accessible to you at all (to see whether it might be something you wanted to get); it just never shows up in your inbox. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes email you definitely want won't reach you. (The most famous case was AOL filtering out emailed acceptance letters from Harvard.) The settings can be changed now.

2. Turn on the built-in junk mail and pornography filters built into your desktop email software.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can turn it on by going into the Organizer of your Inbox, then clicking the Junk Mail link on the left and turning on filtering for junk spam mail and pornography separately.

Most other desktop software permits you to add senders to a "blacklist" or "blocked senders" list, which will keep someone from spamming you from the same address twice. Check the email help file to learn how to turn it on.

3. If you use desktop virus protection, consider buying the spam-filtering add-on product. Most virus-protection software providers offer a spam-filtering product.



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