Email SPAM…So Frustrating!


In the Internet age, not only are you fighting junk mail in your mailbox, but you’ve also got exorbitant amounts of spam in your virtual inbox.  In addition to being quite annoying, these e-mails can introduce viruses and spyware into your computer.  While there are several different ways to combat spam, here’s a start.

 Remember the key to clearing up your inbox is patience, Patience, patience! We’ve all been there.  I know how frustrating it is to search through 150 messages in your inbox, just to find the one e-mail that you’ve been looking for.  Junk-mail filters are better than ever, but conversely, so is Junk Mail.

Be patient!  The following steps will help you clear up your crowded inbox once and for all.  Don’t be discouraged, it won’t happen overnight, but with a little bit of time up-front, keeping your mailbox junk free will become fast and easy.

  • Log into your e-maill
  • Isolate the Junk Mail.  If you have a mail server that stores mail in your “trash can” until you log off, use it.  If not, make a folder that you can temporarily store your junk mail in until you can throw it away.  Move all of your junk mail to this folder, and this is where we’ll keep it until we’re done with it.
  • Survey your junk-mail.  After you’ve isolated your junk mail, take a good look at the folder where you’ve put it all (where all of the e-mails are listed, one by one).  You’ll probably notice trends in the “sender” field and the “subject” line.  Sometimes, many junk-mail items will come from the same sponsor or company.  E-mail that tends to repeat the same subject line, letter for letter, are a good example of this type of e-mail.  It’s important to note these trends for the next step.
  • Pick 5-10 e-mails.  You’re selecting these e-mails as “target” e-mails for today’s round of “unsubscribing.”  You can select more if you have more time, or just two or three if you don’t get much junk mail.  Either way, your goal is to begin solving the junk-mail problem, instead of ignoring it and hoping it goes away.
  • Delete the rest.  Well, you can keep them if you want – but really, what are you going to use them for?  It’s easier to start with a clean folder each time you do your “unsubscribing” rounds.
  • Unsubscribe.  This step is important.  People who send solicitation e-mails are required to abide by the same rules as most telemarketers.  This means that if you don’t want them, you should tell them. They are therefore required to stop sending you unwanted mail.  Open one of your junk-mail items. Usually unsubscribe disclaimers are located on the very bottom of the e-mail, where most people never look.  It is very rare that you’ll get an e-mail without the option to unsubscribe tacked on the bottom.

Unsubscribing.  There are three ways that most companies will ask you to unsubscribe:

  1. The Auto-Unsubscribe – Click on the link, and a window pops up saying you’ve been unsubscribed, and please allow a pre-designated number of hours to be removed (usually 24-48). This is my favorite type of unsubscribe option, because it requires no input on my part. 🙂
  2. The E-Mail Removal Form – Click on the provided unsubscribe link in the junk e-mail, and a small page will pop up asking for your e-mail address. Just type your e-mail into the field and click “submit” or “unsubscribe me” or whatever the button says. These forms will never ask for your name or any other personal information. If they do, do not input any information, close the window and move on the the next junk e-mail.
  3. The “Reply” Removal – Some e-mails do not have a link to unsubscribe, and instead ask you to unsubscribe by replying to the e-mail with a word like “unsubscribe” or a phrase like “no thanks” in the subject line. Simply follow the instructions. I’ve heard people say that replying to these requests validates that your address is valid (opening the gate for more spam), however, I have never received a follow-up e-mail or any other correspondence from any company who I have unsubscribed from this way.
  • Wait.  Most requests to remove you from a mailing list take 24-48 hours to process.  Some are immediate, whereas some may take longer. I would suggest waiting for 3-5 days, and during that time simply delete all incoming junk mail as you normally would.  This prevents you from accidentally unsubscribing from the same company twice.  After you use the “unsubscribe” tool provided on the e-mail, there is no reason to keep it and you can delete it like normal.
  • After 2 rounds of “unsubscribing” you should notice a dramatic reduction in the amount of junk e-mail you receive.  Unsubscribing from just one junk mail distributor may cut down on your junk mail load by as many as four junk-mails per day!  That’s almost 30 erroneous bits of junk per week! Once you’ve reached the point where your mail is manageable again, you can unsubscribe to junk mail as you receive it.

If you continue to receive junk mail even after you have attempted to unsubscribe from the service, you can take additional steps like reporting the mail as “spam” to your e-mail service provider, or adding the sender or domain of the sender to your “blocked” list.

  • With a little bit of time and patience on your part, it is possible to reclaim your inbox. I was at a point where I would receive over 100 junk e-mails per day – by the time I’d finished deleting them all I wouldn’t even want to read the ones from my friends. I made up my mind to stop ignoring the problem and start fixing it, and less than a month and a half later I was down to less than 10 per week. Now, I simply keep up by unsubscribing as they arrive, and I have my inbox to myself again. You can, too!

    Many junk emails come with two unsubscribe links one for the particular ad and one for the big company-which probably will unsubscribe you from many ads

    Tips

    Most find that many different junk e-mails can come from the same source. Once you start “unsubscribing” from these e-mails, you’ll begin to notice that some of the unsubscribe pages look the same. For that reason, I recommend that you tackle your junk mail on a weekly basis. Tackle e-mails 5 or 6 at a time, give it a week, and repeat the process.

    If you cancel a subscription, and mail keeps coming, it may be necessary to add the junk mail’s sender or domain to your blocked list. This may not always work, however. See the warnings below. A lot of spam senders will randomize the “From” section, so you can’t block just one. (For example, you may get an email -which is really spam- from Sk8tr92 and then the same email from the same spam people that says it is from Sk8tr49)

    Survey Sites tend to generate a lot of junk mail. While many people use surveys as a great part-time source of extra income, signing up for surveys, free gifts, free drawings, etc. often distributes your e-mail to tens of unwanted mailing lists.

    Try to keep your junk mail to a minimum by not giving your e-mail address to anybody that you don’t know, trust, or use for business purposes like your bank, business websites, etc.

    When unsubscribing, the “E-mail Removal Form” is a very popular method for most sponsors. I would recommend that you copy your e-mail address to the clipboard of your PC (by highlighting your typed e-mail address, right clicking, and selecting ‘copy’), and when you encounter one of these forms, right-click in the space that asks for your e-mail, and click ‘paste’. This keeps you from typing your address over and over again.

    There are tools that help you unsubscribe from unwanted emails. Such as www.unsubscribe.com. They will add a button to your email client that will seek out the best method of taking you off the unwanted email.

    THIS MAY NOT WORK!!!! It could in fact increase the amount of spam that you get.  Some spamers use unsubscribe links to make sure that the email is “live.” Use caution when using this method. It is recommended to NEVER respond to or open spam.

    With viruses running rampant today you never can be too careful about your e-mail protection. Generally speaking, your PC will not contract a virus from simply viewing an email. Do notopen any attachments inside your junk mail. If it can be avoided, do not click on any of the graphics or links contained within the e-mail either. These links can direct you to pop-ups or other junk advertisements.

    Be extra careful when you decide to add senders or domains to your “blocked” list.  Some junk mail can come from “friendly” domains like gmail.com, or hotmail.com. It’s more than likely that at least one of your friends uses one of these common e-mail servers, so if you block the entire domain they wont be able to contact you, either! 

    Before unsubscribing to an e-mail, make sure to read the disclaimer thoroughly. Sometimes other links, in addition to the “unsubscribe” link, are contained in the disclaimer, and the last thing you want to do is click on the wrong one!


 

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