Small Business Tech Tip: Spam Me If You Can!

So you got your new e-mail set up and you are ready to conquer the
world!  But suddenly, you begin to receive e-mails that offer you
everything under the sun from prescriptions to real estate and arrive
from places and names that make you blush and would make your mother
shake her head.  It’s the newest four-letter word turned taboo—Spam.  This quirky name now refers less to the popular lunch meat and more so to unsolicited junk e-mail.

Here are some quick tips on how to mitigate spam:

1. Keep Your E-mail to Yourself

Spammers often work like any other telemarketer, they gather names
from public databases and other research.  One of the best ways to keep
them from placing you on their list is to remain out of the Internet
spotlight.  Rest assured that those who use e-mail addresses to sign up
for every online contest or join every group receive more spam.  Use your e-mail address wisely and judiciously.

2. Manage Two Accounts

Well, you tried to resist the lure of a “free cell phone with trial
subscription” and a “Caribbean cruise if you sign up now” but you just
can’t.  In this case, I’d suggest creating a separate e-mail address
that you use for all your non-professional dealings.  You can easily
and freely do this with a host of online providers, including Google, Hotmail and Yahoo
This spam account can then be used liberally when joining new groups or
signing up for online contests.  You are sure to receive lots of spam
in this account, but then again, that’s why you have it.

3. Message Rules in Outlook

Those using Outlook
can filter out incoming spam before it even hits the inbox.  Rules
allow you to analyze the sender’s name, subject line, and message body
before the message is downloaded by the server.

For example, when using rules to filter out spam you can choose to send any message with particularly offensive words to the Deleted Items
folder or even delete the message entirely before the server downloads
it.  If you do not wish to automatically delete messages then try
creating a “spam” folder, which allows you to filter messages to it for
safekeeping until you have time to review.

Setting up a filter rule in Outlook is pretty simple as Outlook
contains a wizard that walks you through the steps.  To do so, click Tools > Rules and Alerts to open the Rules dialog box and then click New Rule
to get started.  You will simply need to decide what you want to happen
when certain messages arrive and select the appropriate choices in each
stage of the wizard.

About the Author: Kelly Curnow