|Operating Systems - Microsoft / Windows|
Everyone hates it, that is spam, or junk emails. No doubt you get tired of these junk emails because they are a waste of time. Even if you don't read them, it takes time just deleting them. There are several ways to reduce and prevent spam. I have used these measures for years and I typically get less (way less) than 5 junk emails a month. Here is how I prevent getting spam emails:
1. Don't forward chain emails You know the ones, If you forward this to all you your friends, you will receive all kinds of money from BIll Gates, Blockbuster giving away free movies, and Microsoft giving away a free Xbox. You know there is a special email tracking tool they have, so just forward this on to all of your friends, at least thats what they tell you. Seriously, there is no such thing! Remember, if its sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
2. If you DO forward something to a group, use BCC: I like a good joke just as much as everyone else. Yes, once in a while I receive one, I will forward it on to my friends. But first it has to pass what I call The Laugh Test. What I mean is that if I read an email and I literally laugh out loud at it, then I will forward it on.
However, even still, I am VERY SELECTIVE as to who I send my funny email to. Even though they are my friends, they are busy, and might actually be doing real work at their jobs! (what a concept!) But most importantly I forward all of my group emails using BCC: BCC: stands for "Blind Carbon Copy", which means that when I send out my email, none of its recipients will be able to see each others email addresses.This is important because it is very likely that at least one person will forward YOUR email on. It is possible that a spammer could receive this email, and harvest all of the email addresses from it. Think of it as a privacy issue (because it really is..). Put another way, do you walk down the street yelling out all of your firend's cell phone numbers? Of course not! In a sense that is what you are doing with your friends' email addresses when you forward email with their addresses visible.
To do this in Outlook Express, click on Create Message to write your email. then click on the the To: to the left of where you would type in email addresses, and the window pictured above will open up.then to select your recipients, just click on your first email recipient, then to select the others, just hold down the [ctrl] key, and continue clicking everyone you want to send your email to.Then click the BCC: button circled in the picture above. You will then see all of you email recipients in the BCC: window. Next, click the [OK] button.
By the way, if you have ever noticed in spammer's emails, they don't show any email recipients, this is how they do that.
3. Configure your email to block images and other content in HTML. Although your emails won't be "pretty", typically those images are hosted on a server. As such these images can be used as a Web Beacon. This can be used to verify that you have read their email. This then tells the spammer that you read their email. They then know your email is a valid one. And guess what? You get even more spam! To do this in Outlook Express, just click on Tools then on Options. then click on the Security tab and check the box labeled Block images and other external content in HTML e-mail.
4. Configure your email to view emails in text only. Just like above, you don't want spammers to figure out that your email address is a valid one. To do this, click Tools then Options. Then click on the Read tab. and check the box labeled Read all messages in plain text.
5. Turn off automatic processing of meeting requests and read and delivery receipts. This is yet another way spammers use to find email addresses that will read their junk email. So if you go on vacation, send an email out to all of your important contacts (Don't forget to use BCC - remember?) stating that you will be on vacation, and when you will be back in the office. Because if you turn on these auto response features, and receive any spam, they too will get your out of the office response. Then they know your email address, and yes, you will get even more spam!