- Internet & the Web
How do I stop junkmail?
Spam, everyone claims to hate it but if those annoying ads didn't work it would die out as it would be ineffective and the spammers would not be making money. However, if you are like most people, you are annoyed by the constant deluge of "offers" making claims of the ability to increase certain body parts to huge sizes (who told them that it was too small??), that you've won a billion gazillion dollars, that if you give me your bank info I will transfer my late husband's fortune to your accounts and split the money with you, and one of my favorites, the "email" from a hot chick who just happened upon my picture/profile on some site and would like to get to know me better.
The big question here is how we stop the constant deluge of spam from invading our email inboxes. There are a number of things you can do depending on the email service you use.
Email "User Filters"
For those who want perfect, or at least near perfect protection from spam email, the most effective option is to be proactive. there are a couple ways, with email filters, to cut most or all spam from your inbox.
The first and easiest way to use a user filter in email is to set your email inbox up so that only emails from the people that are currently listed in your address book get to your inbox. In some emails this is as easy as clicking an option button (hotmail I know has this option) or could be as complex as having to create this list of "safe" email address yourself.
The second option would be to create a "safe word". This is a word that you tell your email program to look for in the subject line. If the word is there the email goes to your inbox if not you send it off to obscurity. The problem with this option is you then have to get everyone that you want to get emails from to add that word to their subject line and getting them to agree to it and then to actually implement it is nearly impossible so let's move on to some more realistic solutions.
Outlook and Express users
I personally haven't used either outlook or Express for email in 12 years or so due to security problems with those programs. I do however know that a number of people still use those programs and would like to know their spam options.
The best advice I can give you if you use one of these programs is either switch to a web based email address (I will talk about my preferences among web-mail servers in later paragraphs) or buy a "spam filter" program. Now is the question is, which one should I get?? The best advice I can give you is do a little research then buy whichever one seems to have the features you feel you need. A good place to start learning about commercial spam filters is with a website that does an independent review such as http://www.spam-filter-review.toptenreviews.com/ .
Web Based email, Hotmail, Yahoo, and Gmail
Now for a look at web based email accounts and how they seem to stack up in the fight against spam. The numbers I am listing below are approximate but accurate to the best of my ability to recall and are all based on using the accounts with no adjustments, just letting the server's spam filters take care of things for me.
First Hotmail. I have had a Hotmail account for about 12 years now and have had varying degrees of success with their spam filter. Over the time I have had Hotmail I have gone from getting literally hundreds of spam emails a day to where these days I average between 15 and 30 spams on a daily basis. This is much better than no spam protection but far from the best I have seen.
Yahoo, my wife's favorite email server, and one I have used occasionally over the years, is next. Yahoo spam filters have also improved over the years. "Back in the day" I would get hundreds of spams in my Yahoo account daily, while more recently, with their improved filters, it seems to have cut back to 10 to 20 daily. This is an improvement over my experiences with Hotmail but still not quite the best.
Finally, Gmail, my obvious favorite. I have had a Gmail account for almost 3 years now and in that time I have received and average of 5 to 10 spam emails a day (with an average of only one per month making it into my inbox). Over the course of this past year the number of spam emails I see in my "junk" folder is hovering right around 5 per day.
The last word
Well there you have it, my opinion on spam, junk mail, whatever you prefer to call it. Keep in mind these are my opinions and others are sure to disagree (if you have other suggestions please feel free to put them in the comments for all to read and perhaps learn from).
Final note, here are the links for Hotmail, Yahoo mail and Gmail, respectively: Hotmail , Yahoo, Gmail or if you want gmail and ask in the comments I can send you an invite (this requires an email address to send it to however).