How to Stop Bulk Mail

by Audra Dean

Bulk mail, better known as junk mail or spam, has become such a big problem that many people are practically driven from their email accounts because of it. Billions of junk emails are sent out every day, and more often than not, the content of the mail is true to its name: junk. Laws have been implemented to stop spam from flooding inboxes, but it still seems there's no real way to stop the unwanted messages from rolling in. Spam may never be completely wiped out, but there are a few ways to decrease it.

Never Release Your Primary Email Address

When posting on forums, message boards or other online sites, never give out your primary email address. Spam bots can find your address on these public forums and sign it up for mailing lists.

If you must give out your primary email address, type the address in such a way that spam bots cannot access it. If your email address is "SaundraD@genericemail.com," write it as "SaundraD at genericemail dot com." A human can put the pieces together, but a bot cannot.

If you run a website and want to allow visitors to message you, use a contact form instead of releasing your email address onto the site. Contact forms must be filled out with detailed information that most spam bots cannot produce.

Create multiple email accounts that can be used for various online activities. This way, you will never have to use your primary email address when signing up for sites and services. Spam may be sent to your alternate accounts, but your main account will be spam-free.

Filter Your Email

Filter out known spam addresses from your email. Go through your junk mail and make a list of spam email addresses. You can then go into your email's preferences and block the addresses from sending you mail. Spammers have many email addresses they send junk mail from, so this will not filter out all of the spam you receive---but it will help.

Set your preferences to block all mail delivered to you by senders not in your address book. You will only receive mail from people you've approved and added to your contact list.

Download an email spam blocker and install it onto your computer. An email spam blocker will only work with email clients such as Outlook Express and Opera. It will not work with online email services such as Yahoo! or Hotmail.

Mark all unwanted spam mail in your inbox as spam or junk mail. Most email services offer this feature. With just a click of a button, the spam will be marked and sent to a special folder.

Report Spammers

Report spam email addresses to online anti-spam services. These services help eliminate spam on a daily basis with help from spam victims.

Report fraudulent spam mail to the National Fraud Information Center.

If you receive fake emails from Paypal, Amazon, eBay and other online companies, forward them directly to the corporations. These corporations are very serious about finding the source of the fake emails and protecting their customers.

Write to your state senator and push for harsher laws on spam mail.

Warning

  • close Do not respond to spam email. If you do, you could be signed up for more spam mailing lists. Do not download attachments from any spam mail; it could contain viruses. If you filter out all email addresses except for those in your address book, your email usage will be limited. You will not be able to receive mail from people outside of your address book, and this could be troublesome if you run an Internet-based company or want to communicate with people online.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Steve Woods