Spam-Proof Your Inbox and Cellphone
Spam is the bane of computer users everywhere, accounting for more than 90% of e-mail. And now, cellphones are getting spam.
There is no foolproof solution to spam, but you can banish most of it.
Use a good e-mail filter
Your first line of defense is a spam filter. Filters screen incoming messages; spam is killed before it hits your inbox.
Good spam filters don’t rely on sender information. Rather, they use Bayesian filters. These filters improve as you use them. I recommend a free filter like MailWasher, POPFile, Spamato, or SpamBayes.
Webmail providers usually have built-in spam filters. Make sure yours is activated. Tag spam that reaches your inbox to improve accuracy.
Choose e-mail addresses carefully
How do spammers get e-mail addresses? They buy mailing lists and harvest addresses from the Web.
You’ll be surprised to learn that they also often just guess e-mail addresses. They use programs that combine simple words.
This means your e-mail address affects how much spam you get. Don’t use a simple e-mail address like firstname.lastname@example.org. This is easily guessed.
Instead, add numbers, underscores and other characters. Include a hobby to make the address more meaningful. For example, choose email@example.com.
Watch the first letter of the e-mail address. Choose a letter that comes later in the alphabet. Addresses starting with letters at the beginning of the alphabet get more spam.