We all get it: Unwanted mail. Sometimes it comes from friends who seem to be cleaning out their inboxes, but mostly it comes from someone we’ve never heard of.
What everyone wants to know is—how do you stop it? Well, it’s probably a futile effort to try. Spam will be there forever. You just need to manage it. There are several ways of doing this, which I’ll explain below:
- Ignore it. Just delete the unwanted messages. You need a high tolerance for junk.
- If you have an internet security program that allows you to flag messages as spam, do so. Let the program automatically detect it. Depending on your program, the spam/junk will automatically be directed to a junk folder or simply deleted.
- Create message filters. Each email program will allow you to filter messages (we can’t tell you how each program does it in this limited space). Basically, you tell the program to look at each message to see if it contains a certain address, subject, word, etc. You can then have the program automatically throw those messages in the trash.
- Install a message filtering program (we link to one on our “Products” page). These programs are referred to as challenge/response programs. They send a challenge to unknown senders requiring a response. You get the response and can either allow the messages or senders or blacklist them. If the mail was sent by a machine (a robot), then it can’t answer the challenge and the mail is trashed after several days. This drops your spam messages down to a very small number. It does require a little configuration to work properly, though.
- And how about those mails you get from your brother who insists that you read everything he thinks is funny? I suggest a message filter. Tell your email program that if it sees his address in the “from” field, move the mail to a folder you set up with his name on it. This way you won’t be totally ignoring him. You can go to his folder when you get time to see if there is anything important.