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Protecting Yourself from Spam

Last Updated: Wed, 02 Jul 2014 > Related Articles

29 rated this


Provides general information about spam.


How Spammers Get Email Addresses


Spammers use a variety of methods to gather email addresses, send their messages and cover their tracks. Sometimes they will send email from computers set up as email servers and configured specifically to send spam. They will also make use of computer virus programs, which enable them to use computers belonging to others to send the spam. Spammers generally get their address lists from several places. Searching public bulletin boards, web pages and newsgroups for valid email addresses is one common method. Preparing a list of common names like jim, joe, or jane, and then adding the @cox.net address to them is another. While it is nice to be a popular ISP, sometimes it makes Cox a bigger target for people sending spam than smaller regional ISPs.

How to Reduce the Amount of Spam Received


Here are some tips for you to reduce the amount of incoming and outgoing Spam that you are experiencing:

  • Do Not Use Your Primary Email Address to Sign Up for Anything - Consider creating separate addresses that can be used for online purchases, chat rooms and other public postings. Many customers create a secondary email address for ecommerce, signing on to web sites, and entering sweepstakes.
  • Use a Unique Email Address - Select an address that is difficult for spammers to guess. Consider using long email address consisting of more than one word, as well as numbers and an underscore. Also, if chatting online, use a unique screen name that is not associated with your email address.
  • Do Not Unsubscribe From a Spammer's List - Some spam messages will include links for you to click on, such as a link that will unsubscribe you from the spammer's list. Once you click on the link, however, you have just told the spammer that your email address is a valid address, thus ensuring that you will receive thousands of additional spam messages. You should not use an unsubscribe link with a spam email, unless the email is from a company you trust.
  • Watch Out for Those Checkboxes - Make sure you do not opt in for emails you do not want, and watch out for checkboxes when you submit any form on a Web site. Always be familiar with a web site's privacy policy before submitting any information.
  • Assume Mail from Unknown Senders is Spam - Friends and family do not typically spam you. If you receive an unsolicited commercial email, a spam message, you may report it to the sender’s ISP. In order to do this you must first view the complete message header for the spam message to identify the source network, and then send a report to the network’s administrator. Some useful information on how to identify the correct data in the message header or within the message itself is available at http://www.xmarks.com/site/combat.uxn.com/.

Additional Information


Managing Spam Settings in McAfee Security Center


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