Friday, March 14, 2008

Ways to Help Combat e-Mail Spam

Here’s a notice from our IT group; some tips on how to combat spam

 

 

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We would like to share with you information about e-mail spam,

and how you can help to combat them.

 

E-mail spam has been growing, with no signs of abating.

It was estimated that as at 2007, there are 90 billion

spam e-mails per day. In absolute percentage, spam e-mails

constitute approximately 80% - 85% of the total volume of

e-mails received by an organization.

 

Apart from the anti-spam software being installed to filter spam,

as an e-mail user, you can help to combat spam by following

the below recommendations:

 

Never make a purchase from an unsolicited e-mail.
If spamming weren't economically viable, it would be obsolete.

Not only can an e-mail user fall prey to a potentially fraudulent

sales scheme, but his or her e-mail address can also be added

to the numerous e-mail lists that are sold within the spamming

community, further compounding the number of junk e-mails

received.
 

If you do not know the sender of an unsolicited

e-mail message, delete it.
While most spam is usually just annoying text, a spam

e-mail message could actually contain a virus and/or

other exploits that could damage the computers of all

who open it.
 

Never respond to any spam messages or click on any links

in the message.
Replying to any spam message, even to "unsubscribe"

or be "removed" from the e-mail list only confirms to the

spammer that you are a valid recipient and a perfect target

for future spamming.

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Never forward any chain e-mail.

Forwarding chain e-mail should also be avoided as you never know

who this chain e-mail will ultimately reach. Chain e-mail will get

widespread and your e-mail address may get into the hands of the

spammers.

 

Avoid using the preview functionality of your e-mail

client software.
Many spammers use advertising techniques that can track

when a message is viewed, even if you don't click on the message

or reply to it. Using the preview functionality essentially opens

an e-mail and tells spammers you are a valid recipient, which

can result in even more spam.
 

When sending e-mail messages to a large number of

internet recipients, use the blind copy (bcc) field

to conceal their e-mail addresses.
Sending e-mail where all recipient addresses are "exposed"

in the "To" field makes it vulnerable to harvesting by a

spammer's traps.
 

Think carefully before you provide your e-mail address

on websites, newsgroup lists or other online public forum.
Many spammers utilize "web bots" that automatically surf

the internet to harvest e-mail addresses from public

information sites and forums.
 

Never give your company e-mail address to anyone

or any site you don't trust.
Share it only with your close friends and business colleagues.
 

Have and use one or two secondary “personal” e-mail

addresses.
If you need to fill out web registration forms, or surveys at sites

from which you don't want to receive further information,

consider using secondary “personal” addresses to protect

company e-mail accounts from spam abuse.

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Watch out for pre-checked boxes.

When you buy things online, companies sometimes pre-select

check boxes by which you indicate that it's fine to sell or give

your e-mail address to responsible parties. Clear the check box

if you don't want to be contacted.

 

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Conscientious end users who follow these suggestions will

ultimately play a significant role in reducing the amount

of spam that enters the organization's communications system.

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