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Avoiding Spam
Email & Collaboration

Spam can be briefly defined as unwanted, unsolicited email.

Never, ever reply to a spam message: This includes buying a product that is for sale or clicking the often-misunderstood “unsubscribe” link, which actually informs your spammer that you exist. If you can tell from the subject line that a message is spam, don't open it, just delete it. Spam subject lines frequently promise you a better sex life, a more youthful appearance, prescription drugs without a doctor’s approval, love, thicker hair, or a better mortgage rate. They also use
attention-demanding punctuation, such as exclamation marks or all caps.

Don't click any links in a spam email: Spammers often have multiple, unique pages on their sites. Often times, when you click a URL in a spam message, this tells the spammer that you received the message they sent.

Disguise your email address: Don't put your email address in plain text on your Web site. An effective way to trick the spiders that traverse the Web to harvest email addresses is to disguise your email address by stripping out periods and @ symbols. For example, "YOURNAME AT YAHOO DOT COM" or use JavaScript to display your email address as a clickable link. You can also make the "@" an image which will prevent crawlers from identifying it.

Don't forward an email from someone you don't know to a list of people: You remember those “forward this email to 20 of your friends” messages? They are perfect for spammers to harvest email addresses, even if the sender of the original email did not have this intent. These types of sign-and-forward emails often appear in the form of a petition -- and they don't work.

Don't use your University address when you register on a Web site or in a group. If you must sign up for services, want to receive more info, register for newspapers or domains; use a free email address from a site like Yahoo, Google, etc. to create an address especially for that purpose. This also goes for posting to the Web, newsgroup, on a contact page for a Web site, on a resume that is posted on the Web, or making personal purchases online.

Before you join a list, make sure the list owner or webmaster will not sell your address.

Preview your messages before you open them. Outlook lets you use a preview mode to peek at the contents of a message before you actually open it. By default, it will not download any pictures unless the sender is in your address book. To do this in Outlook, go the View menu and select Preview Pane. Instead of double clicking a message, click it once to select it and you'll see the message displayed in the Preview Pane.

Create rules or filters to help remove spam from your inbox: You can help reduce spam in your inbox by setting up rules or filters. You can find a tutorial on how to do this here:

*Warning:Setting up rules/filters incorrectly can filter legitimate email which can lead to deletion of important emails.



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