Methods For Dealing With Spam
from Al Bredenberg
Publisher of EmailResults.com
Sick of spam? Here are some ways to fight back.
Tired of receiving unwanted email? Here are some basic methods for dealing with spam:
- Just delete the offending message.
This is probably the easiest method of all. However, it does nothing to stop spammers. If you want to fight back, you'll have to take more assertive measures.
- Use email filtering to send spam automatically to your trash bin.
This is an option with some email software. The only advantage of filtering is that it allows you to delete unsolicited email without the emotional trauma of actually seeing it in your inbox. Again, it does nothing to deter spammers.
- Ask to be removed from the list.
Some spammers give you this option -- or pretend to. Some may actually comply. Others just use this as a ruse to get you to confirm that yours is a working address. The result: more spam. If you have to ask pretty-please to be removed from every spam list that picks you up, it'll be a never-ending process. In my opinion, asking a spammer to remove you means caving in to his abusive tactics. Nobody should have to ask to be removed from an email list they never asked to be on in the first place.
- Complain to the sender or advertiser.
That is, if you can find out who they are -- most hide their identities. However, some spam advertisers are genuinely ignorant of Internet marketing and have been taken in by the spammer's deceptive pitch. A reasonable person will usually listen to your complaint -- if you present it in a reasonable way.
- Complain to the postmaster or abuse department at the spammer's domain.
Often you can reach someone at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com -- or sometimes firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (you need to substitute the spammer's actual domain where I've used "domain.com"). You should send along a complete copy of the message, with full headers. Keep in mind that many (if not most) spammers hide their identities through false headers. You may have to closely analyze the message headers to determine the real domain the spam was sent from.
- Try to reach upstream providers who provide access or Web hosting for the spammer.
Most providers prohibit spam on their systems and will kick spammers off the Net when they find out about their activities. Many Web hosts will remove a person from their system if they find out the person is using spam to promote a Web site. I often use the traceroute tool to track down spammers. Traceroute comes as part of the Sam Spade [http://www.blighty.com/products/spade/] and Cyberkit [http://www.ping.be/~ping2348/] packages.
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Next - Staying Off the Spam Lists