Spam. Whether you are talking about the meat product or the unending solicitations that fill your inbox, most people hate Spam. In this tutorial, Iā€™m going to give you some tips on decreasing the amount of spam that you get in your inbox.

Use Rules : Message or Mail Rules allow you to set specific criteria for filtering out unwanted messages. Rules are available in most email applications. For more information on how to set up Rules, check out the Mail Rules Tutorial for your Mac (Entourage) or PC (Outlook Express).

Use a Dummy Email Account : How do you get on a Spam mailing list? It usually starts with you typing your email address into a form on a web site. After this, your email makes the rounds of the internet (similar to the way Billy in the Family Circus Cartoons would make his rounds about town!). Your name eventually lands on a Hot List of active email addresses that is then sold to marketing firms. The next thing you know, you are getting solicitations from every casino, mortgage company and sex site on the face of the earth.

So, it seems that you should never give out your email address on the internet. Close, but no quite. You should create a dummy email account that can be used for exactly that purpose and, use your main account for family and friends.

A dummy email account is a free account that you would not mind getting Spam in. Yahoo Mail and Hotmail are two examples of free email accounts that are available. The beauty of these types of accounts are that you can abandon them at any time and get a new one.

Tell Family / Friends Not to Give Out Your Email : In most instances your family or friends will not give out your email address. But, there is one situation where they may be tempted. Online Greeting Cards. People love to send online greeting cards. Unfortunately, every address that you send a card to is added to a spam list somewhere!

Do Not Reply To Spam : Never, never, never reply to spam. Often times a spam email will contain the following line of text ā€œIf you were sent this message in error click here or send a message to some address with unsubscribe as the subjectā€. Unless you are sure that the message is legitimate and not spam, do not reply. Do not click any links in the message. By responding, you are telling the spammer that your email address is active and it goes on a list of active addresses.

Use Email Filtering Software : Some email programs come with filtering software built in. The MacOS X mail application has a great Junk Mail Filter and Hotmail, does a pretty good job of filtering your email. To find an email filter, go to download.com and Search For Email Filter or Spam Filter.

In the end, you are going to have to diligently use all of these methods and you will still get some spam. What is the ultimate solution? Quit using email and use the telephone. Wait, then you have to deal with telemarketers.

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