If it seems like spam has turned the simple task of reading the day's email into a chore, you aren't alone. According to most anti-spam organizations, many American workers spend several hours each week just sorting the spam from legitimate correspondence.
And the recent anti-spam legislation enacted by several states and the federal "Can-Spam" law have done little to curtail the amount of time wasted on the task.
While anti-spam laws might help in the future, the most promising solutions are technology based. Yahoo! is currently working with other organizations on an anti-spam email authentication system that hopefully will make it extremely difficult for spammers to disguise their true identity and send fake emails.
But today there are several ways to deal with spam, some being more effective than others:
- Message rules in Microsoft Outlook Express and some other email clients can be effective at sending repeat spam emails from the same sender directory to the deleted items folder.
You can also create rules that automatically delete emails that contain various criteria, such as phrases commonly used in spam messages.
The problem with this approach is the spammers are constantly coming up with more creative ways to thwart the message rules, including using fake email addresses and misspellings.
- Many ISPs now offer anti-spam email filtering at the server level, either as an option or a standard feature.
The big problem with this anti-spam solution is you never get a chance to see the filtered-out email messages since they're deleted at the mail server level. This means if a legitimate email gets deleted by accident (this happens quite often), you'll never even know it!
- As of this writing, the most effective anti-spam solution for many users is third party anti-spam software (readily available online as well as at many local retailers).
Anti-spam software packages let you create message rules of your own to add to the ones already included with the software. They also come programmed with a list of the largest purveyors of spam and emails from these addresses are deleted by default.
Virtually all current anti-spam programs allow you to "quarantine" suspected spam messages instead of deleting them outright. This allows you to periodically scan the quarantined messages to make sure you haven't accidentally gotten rid of an email that isn't spam at all.
Many users prefer to purchase utility software (including anti-spam software) online because the latest version can be immediately downloaded and installed after payment.
If you buy the software package locally on a CD-ROM, you'll have to first install the software, then register it at the manufacturer's website before you can download and install the latest version.
By purchasing online, you can eliminate two steps in the process and do a "clean" install of the latest version immediately.
Most publishers of anti-spam utilities also offer free trial versions that can be readily downloaded from their websites and installed in minutes!
While anti-spam legislation and email authentication systems might some day make checking your email fun again, the best solution right now is a good anti-spam software package.
Download a free trial version of one of them today and take the first step towards taking your day back!
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