New Internet users who open email accounts can find that their joy at discovering online networking is impinged by spam. Spam, otherwise known as unsolicited electronic junk mail, is sent, often by advertising companies, to mass recipients at once. Sometimes receivers respond favorably to spam, which makes the whole process valuable to senders. Receivers who don’t want junk via electronic post however, can find spam annoying.
Spam can quickly fill your inbox and take time to wade through. In addition, if you are a conscientious Internet user you may be wary of accidentally opening spam that might contain a computer virus. Catching a Trojan or other computer virus via junk mail can add insult to injury.
The first step to avoiding spam can be to employ an anti-spam filter tool. You can download anti-spam tools from the Internet; however, you will probably find that you already have a method of dealing with spam supplied by your email program. Windows Mail for example, provides junk email options for customers. Under the heading ‘Tools’ you could click on ‘Junk-Email Options’ and then choose how you would like to deal with potential spam via a list of choices.
No automatic filtering
The first, but least safe option is to employ no automatic filtering. This would mean that you received all mail routinely whether it was junk or not. However, you could still block known spammers and other senders from whom you didn’t want to receive mail.
The second option is low filtering. This involves moving obvious spam to a junk folder. Low filtering can be useful if you don’t want to miss emails you want to receive that could otherwise be presumed to be junk if a higher filtering capacity was employed.
High filtering is a great way to catch almost all forms of junk email, but it can sometimes result in messages you would have liked to receive being lost as well.
Safe list filtering should be used if you only want to receive mail from people you know and have placed on a safe list. Any other mail is automatically filtered.
[Recommended read: How to Avoid Falling for A Phishing Scam]
The final option Windows offers is to opt for permanent removal of unsolicited mail. Such mail doesn’t go into a junk folder for you to check. Instead, all unsolicited messages and spam are permanently deleted before you get to see them.
Like Windows Mail, most email programs allow people to select filtering options of their choice to suit their needs. Not choosing to use a filtering system at all can be a mistake, as viruses and annoying mail are generally posted electronically to email users en masse in this fashion.
Deciding which filtering option is best for you and employing it straight away when you open an email account can be wise. By perusing the selection of choices offered by your email program regarding junk mail, you can effectively avoid most spam and safeguard your time, energy and safety as an email receiver.
About the Author: Sam Jones, the author, thinks that broadband is wonderful but that it still has some regulatory problems.