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Spam-Proof Your Inbox and Cellphone

Spam-Proof Your Inbox and Cellphone

USA Today

Use disposable addresses

Some providers offer disposable addresses. Create an address for a specific purpose. When a disposable address starts receiving spam, kill it.

You can also create multiple accounts. Use one for friends and family. Create a second account to use for online banking and the like. Don’t use them for anything else.

Create another account for signing up for services and online shopping. When you see spam, drop the address.

Exercise caution

Not all unwanted e-mail messages come from criminals. When you sign up for anything online, be careful. You may unwittingly be registering for newsletters and updates. Look for opt-out check boxes.

Also, be stingy with your e-mail address and phone number. Never post them online without obscuring them.

Don’t give them to anybody unless you know who they are. That goes for the real world as well as online. Be particularly wary of online quizzes and the like. These can lead to spam or charges on your cellular bill.

Training Articles

Read a site’s privacy policy before providing personal information. Make sure you understand how your information will be used.

Don’t bother unsubscribing

Many spam messages contain an unsubscribe link. Ignore this. In fact, don’t even open spam messages. They can infect your computer with malware.

Clicking the unsubscribe link simply confirms that your address is active. Instead, forward spam to the Federal Communications Commission at

Legitimate mailing lists are the exception to this rule. Use their unsubscribe links.

Protect your phone

Cellphone spam is relatively new. You may not be receiving any yet, but a proactive approach makes sense.

First, join the Do Not Call Registry. This will end most telemarketing calls. It will also stop companies from sending text messages to your phone. After 31 days, you can file a complaint if you’re still getting messages.

The CAN-SPAM Act bans unwanted commercial messages on wireless gadgets. You can file complaints at the FCC’s site.

Finally, check your account settings with your provider. Most spammers send their texts from the Internet. Your provider should offer tools for blocking messages sent from the Web.

Kim Komando hosts the nation’s largest talk radio show about computers and the Internet. To get the podcast or find the station nearest you, visit To subscribe to Kim’s free e-mail newsletters, sign up at Contact her at

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