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Spam E-mail

Everything has its good and bad side - Mail is great for efficient and easy communication but the bad side of mail is Spam. Spam emails are unsolicited and often unwanted advertising emails that bear no relevance to your profession and business activities.

As your e-mail address becomes known to more and more people the chance of receiving spam increases. If you have a web site your chance of receiving spam e-mail increases even more.

It should be noted that there are legitimate well-run mailing lists and there are spam email lists. They are very different and should not be confused.

How do these 'Spammers' get my e-mail address?

There are a number of ways that your mail address can got onto spam mailing lists :

1. If you have a web site with a domain name, people can guess what your e-mail address will be. For instance : if you find a web site of www.bobsbits.com then sending an mail to sales@bobsbits.com will almost certainly get through. This works for all domains using a 'Catch All' email account.
People are employed to surf the web to find email addresses in this way.

2. Joke emails can often play a big part in spreading your email address too. We have all had jokes forwarded to us by email and at the top of the email you can often see the email addresses of all the other people that it has been forwarded to. At some points these emails will possibly fall into the hands of someone collecting and selling addresses. These people love these kinds of emails as there is a high possibility of all these email addresses being valid. This doesn't just apply to joke emails but also forwarded pictures, questionnaires, chainmails, public opinion emails, reduce fuel cost emails, even sadly the 'help save my dying son' emails !

3. Random Mailers are programs used to guess email addresses simply by generating random email addresses using a dictionary of probably words. Although there effectiveness is quite low they still work and are used.

4. ISP addresses are also commonly used. Often you are supplied with an email account by your Internet service provider. These are great for spammers as they only have to guess the bit before the @. For instance if you get on the Internet using BT Connect then they already know that the second half of your address will be btconnect.com and therefore they just guess the first part : james@, fred@, shelly@, james1@, and so on ...

5. Participation on message boards and public forums can often lead to spam email if those forums display your email address. You can still participate in those forums but don't leave your email address unless it is really necessary.

What can I do to Eliminate Spam?
Havnet offers a very effective service called HavNetMail - It has been designed to check your email as it passes through our mail servers BEFORE it is delivered to you. This provides first class real-time protection against viruses as well as filtering spam email saving your valuable time. For more information visit our HavNetMail page.

What can I do to Limit the Amount of Spam?
There are a number of things you can do :

1. If you have a domain name, you can limit what email addresses work for that domain. For example bobsbits.com may only allow emails sent to bob@bobsbits.com and sue@bobsbits.com, so any emails sent to anythingelse@bobsbits.com would be ignored. However, you should understand that you may block legitimate emails using this method.

2. Ensure that you and your staff do not participate in forwarding joke emails around in the traditional way. I'm not being boring and saying don't have a laugh, but if you are going to send emails to a number of your contacts, use the BCC method in Outlook or Outlook Express rather than the CC method as is commonly used. Also ask others to do the same.

3. Use 'Sorting Rules' in Outlook or Outlook Express to automatically delete emails containing certain words like viagra, sex, adv:, mortgages, prescription drugs etc.. Obviously you have to be careful in you choice of words - don't filter emails containing the word mortgages if you are a mortgage advisor !!
This doesn't stop the spam it just deletes it for you.

4. Get your ISP to supply you with an obscure account name and get you web hosts to forward emails to that obscure email account address. This helps stop spammers guessing your address. HavNet can do this for you.

5. Look at the message headers of the spam email to find out what email address they sent the email to - you might be able to block that email address as described in point 1.

6. Remove any email address links from your web site and replace them with contact forms. HavNet can add a contact form to your web site that does not have your actual email address embedded on the page at all. This stops 'Email Harvesting' programs from finding your email address.

The Spam Emails have a remove option - Should I use It ?

If the email is from a legitimate well-managed mailing list then yes you can use the unsubscribe or remove link at the bottom of the email. This should you remove you from the list and probably send one final email to confirm your removal. You will probably recognise a legitimate mailing list email. It will probably have some kind of relevance to you and you may remember subscribing to the list.

If you do not recognise the email and it has no relevance then it is probably spam and there is a good possibility that the remove or unsubscribe link will not work. Infact it will probably work against you because clicking the link will simply confirm to the spammers that they have 'a live one'. They will then sell your email address as a 'known to be active' address and get more money for it !

I have tried the remove option but it didn't work - what can I do now?

Again, clicking the remove link on a spam email often just confirms to the spammers that they have an active address and they will then use it more. If you really feel that your privacy has been invaded you can report the email to organisations like SpamCop (www.spamcop.org)

Our AntiSpam service uses the SpamCop database as one of the methods in deciding whether an email is legitimate or spam. This make it very effective at blocking spam that has already been reported by other user. For more information visit our HavNetMail page.

Corporate Users

We can also offer an extremely cost effective antispam and antivirus package for corporate user that require 10 or more email accounts. For more information visit our HavNetMail page.

 

 

 

 

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