How to Stop Spam
It is probably impossible to eliminate spam from your life, but here are a few tips explaining how to deal with spam to keep it at the least annoying level possible. Although at more technology oriented websites you can find more technical solutions here are some tips to reduce the amount of spam that will ever be sent to you.
Have multiple emails
I have three different email addresses that I give people based on how much I want them to email me. My first email address is only for emails that I actually want to receive. I only give this address to people whose emails I actually want to read, such as my family, friends, my kid’s teachers/coaches, and people I buy or sell things from on Craigslist. I never give this address to any company who I suspect will want to send me spam, monthly newsletters, or “special offers”. This email address is my gmail account and whenever I get an email in this account my phone notifies me immediately so I can read it right away.
I have a second email address for companies who might occasionally send me an email I want to read, but will mostly just send me spam. For example, if I buy something from a website I will want to get emails from them that are directly related to my order, but I don’t want to get their weekly newsletters that will then be sent to my address for the rest of eternity. When I get an email at this address I am not immediately notified so that these emails won’t annoy me. A couple of times a week I will scan the emails that come into this account just to make sure there is nothing I care about in there. If you don’t already have a second account you can use for spam you can set up a free one on gmail.com. To keep things easy, you might name your second email account like I do. For example if my original email address is firstname.lastname@example.org (You can reach me here by the way), you might name your second account email@example.com .
You can stop at two accounts if you like but I have three email addresses. The third address is for the spammiest of spam, the emails from companies I absolutely, positively never want to hear from. For example I once made the mistake of buying tickets to a major league baseball game. Following that bad decision I got put on several mailing lists and a flood of junk mailed started hitting me every single day all year long. If you are making an order with a major league baseball team or another company that you absolutely, positively, never want to hear from again, give them your third email address. You don’t ever have to bother checking this address.
Eliminating Spam After you Receive It
If you are already getting spam to your “real” email address, there are a couple of ways to eliminate it. The first option is to look for an “unsubscribe” button at the bottom of your email. According to federal law, spammers are required to give you the option to remove yourself from their mailing lists by clicking this link. Some experts don’t recommend this however. The suspicion is that all unsubscribing does is let the spammers know your address is valid so they can sign you up for more lists. I have tried the strategy of unsubscribing from junk email on my work email and have not noticed that the amount of spam has decreased any.
A better strategy is to set up rules to automatically delete these emails. On Microsoft Outlook, this tool is called “rules”. You can right click on the junk email and select “create rule” from the menu that pops up. You can then set up a rule to say that email from a particular address or with a particular word in the subject line automatically goes to your spam folder, or better yet, gets automatically permanently deleted. There are many options for making this work exactly like you want it to in Outlook.
Most webmail services also offer similar tools. In Gmail, you can select the junk email and then select “set up filter” from the other tools option at the top of Gmail’s screen. You can then set up a filter on what happens to emails that come from specific addresses or have specific words in the subject line.
So that is my guide to dealing with Spam. This is the first article I have written that won’t save you any money, but I hope it saves you some time. The Art of Being Cheap never sends out junk email, but junk social media messages are sent out every time an article is posted. On Twitter you can follow me @artofbeingcheap. On Facebook you can like me at www.facebook.com/beingcheap . On Pinterest you can do whatever women do on Pinterest by finding my user name artofbeingcheap .
Check back Friday for my article on how to prevent Spam phone calls.