Sunday, 5 April 2009

Spam, spam, spam

You may remember Monty Python's SPAM song...

"SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM... lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM"

The SPAM song was made shortly before spam or spamming on the Internet had really begun, but if you're unlucky, Monty Python's SPAM song may sound a bit like the contents of your inbox.

Btw, SPAM in uppercase letters is a strange kind of British luncheon meat which looks and tastes a bit like the even odder looking and tasting Leberkäs. Spam in lowercase letters normally means unsolicited emails.

Is there anything you can do to reduce the amount of spam you receive?

Well, your Internet provider probably provides a spam filter for 'free' and there are dozens and dozens of spam programs out there that you can download, some of which are also free, but the better spam filters usually cost a little.

If you are interested in downloading a spam filter, it is best to read some reviews about the program you want to download first, otherwise you may find that the program not only deletes spam, but perfectly legitimate emails that have been sent to multiple recipients.

One thing to avoid, regardless of which spam filter you use, is the setting 'automatically delete spam'. Spam filters cannot always be relied on to identify spam correctly, so it is best to tell the spam filter to send suspected spam to your junk mail or spam folder so you can check the contents of the folder for legitimate emails later.

Finally, don't forward spam that you have received, otherwise there is a very real danger that you may end up being blacklisted as a spammer yourself.

You may say that you would never forward spam, but I'm afraid a friend of mine forwarded a harmless, but stupid chain letter. My spam filter identified it as spam and all her subsequent emails went into my junk mail folder until I fiddled around and managed to add her email address to my safe senders' list.

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