Spam is the term for unsolicited bulk email, the never ending stream of advertisements that flood your email box selling every imaginable product, from remote control cars to colon cleansers. If your email address gets used on the internet a bit, chances are you will start receiving enough spam to where it becomes very annoying (and costly if you have employees using email). Your email address can be added to bulk email lists in many ways, including companies selling their customer information and having your email address appear on a web page or in a domain registration record.
What you can do to stop spam
Don't buy anything!
A simple part of the solution to the spam problem devised by Roger Ebert is this pledge:
"Under no circumstances will I ever purchase anything offered to me as the result of an unsolicited email message. Nor will I forward chain letters, petitions, mass mailings, or virus warnings to large numbers of others. This is my contribution to the survival of the online community."
Protect your email address
Don't give out your email address unless you have to. Don't sign up for contests, give-aways, or anything promotional in nature.
Use a throwaway account
Sign up for a free email account from hotmail or some similar service. Use that email address when making purchases or interacting with companies. If it starts accumulating too much spam, abandon it and start with a fresh address.
Learn how to use the filtering capabilities of your email software. Almost all email programs allow you to create filters to sort and process your email. For example, you could setup a filter to move any message with "Viagra" in the subject to the Trash folder. Be careful not to create filters that might filter out messages you want.
You can purchase software that runs on your computer and filters out unwanted email.
Use custom addresses
If you own your own domain (www.yourdomain.com), you can help fight spam by using a separate address for each company you deal with. For example, register at amazon.com with the email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Then if Amazon sells your email address, you will know by the address and can filter out mail coming in to that address (if you're not using your Amazon account any more). Domain registration records are a common way for your email to get spread around. If you use PerfectWeb's domain registration services, we will contact you if there anything going on with your domain. This allows you to use an email address in your domain record like email@example.com and filter out that address.
What PerfectWeb can do to help
If you have email services provided by PerfectWeb in conjunction with web hosting, we offer a server side spam filter powered by Spam Assassin software, which uses a complex set of rules to determine if an email is spam. At your request, we will turn this feature on for any or all of your email addresses. Once activated, incoming email deemed to be spam will have "**JUNK**" inserted to the beginning of the subject line. You will need to create an email folder named "junk" in your email software and setup a filter to move all the "**JUNK**" emails to that folder (click here for detailed instructions). You should occasionally review the messages in your junk folder before deleting them, in case a message you want was mistakenly flagged. If messages you want are continually marked as junk, you can request that individual senders be added to the "white list", a list of senders who do not get filtered, by sending us an email with a sender or list of senders you want added.
If you have a website created by PerfectWeb, we probably encoded your email address(es) wherever they appear on your website. This is fairly effective in stopping SpamBots, automated programs that scour the web for email addresses. If you want to make sure, just ask us.
For more information and advice on spam, please visit http://spam.abuse.net/overview/.
PerfectWeb does not support the use of spam, and using web services provided by PerfectWeb to send spam is a violation of our hosting terms.