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Spam-Proof Your Inbox and Cellphone

Spam-Proof Your Inbox and Cellphone

USA Today

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 This is easily guessed.

Instead, add numbers, underscores and other characters. Include a hobby to make the address more meaningful. For example, choose

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.

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