How to Reduce Spam using a Few Simple Guidelines

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If you’ve got email, the chances are good that you’ve got spam-lots of it.

Unsolicited commercial email, otherwise known as spam, can spoil an online experience by being time consuming and annoying. Spam is estimated to cost American businesses $10 billion in 2003 alone. These costs come from lost time and productivity, additional spam-blocking equipment, and the chance that important business email could be mistaken for spam and deleted.

Approximately 40 percent of all email in the United States is spam. In many cases, spam creators have learned to cleverly disguise their email to slip through spam-blocking filters. Since spam has become more deceptive, it is easier to get to consumers and the chance they will open the spam, thinking it is legitimate email, is greater.

Marketers have many ways of obtaining email addresses and some use spam to sell their products and services. They buy lists of email addresses and use special software to send their messages to millions of people with one mouse click. You can easily reduce the amount of spam you receive by following a few simple guidelines laid out by personal injury lawyer Chad Wendt:

Try to keep your email address private. Do not post it on a Web site, in a chat room or on an online membership directory;

When visiting different Web sites, be sure to check the sites’ privacy policies. Most reputable businesses will give you the option to have your email address blocked from companies that collect emails for certain marketing lists.

Do not purchase products from spam email. Delete offers without responding.

Be selective when clicking on a link to “unsubscribe” from email. With spam, this could validate your email address and cause you to receive more unwanted mail.

Use more than one email address. One address may be used for personal or business messages and another may be used for chat rooms and newsgroups.

Delete chain letters, virus warnings or petitions you receive from unfamiliar email addresses. These types of email could be spam.

Contact your Internet service provider about spam you receive. Many service providers have an easy-to-use method for reporting and blocking spam.

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