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Spam Solutions

I'm pretty confident that the only people who like spam are the spammers. And while it's very difficult to keep your computer completely clean, here are my personal tips for keeping it to a minimum.

Have multiple email addresses, and keep at least one just for friends and family, another for business use and another for lists and subscription services. Most of the major webmails like, Hotmail, Yahoo, Google and Excite do have other reasons for using them, Yahoo for the stockmarket, Google for Adsense/Adwords and Hotmail for Messenger. so if you use any of these for lists and subscriptions as well and it gets spammed, you'll possibly have to hunt through the spam for legitimate emails.

Try and find one webmail account for joining lists, forums, etc, that you don't use for anything else. And maybe another one for Facebook, Myspace, etc. You should be able to create two accounts on the same provider any way if you like the ease of use and spam facilities, while you have another use for the site as well.

Most email systems have some spam filtering facilities to minimise what gets to your inbox. It can be the email application on your computer, on a dedicated firewall, and on your ISP's mail server, one more option is a dedicated mail filter service.

The newer email applications like Thunderbird, Windows Live have junk filters, as do the major webmails. They need training though and will probably need regular fine tuning. Some also delete the junk automatically after a period of time. I'm currently running Outlook Express and Thunderbird on XP and Windows Live and Thunderbird on Vista.

Unfortunately one of my private addresses and that of another family member managed to get on a spammers list, I believe another member of the family got a virus that gleaned their address book. As this was on our domain name and we didn't want to change them, we resorted to using a third party spam filter server that has a challenge facility. we upload our address book to it so that all of those users never get a challenge request, and anybody else we send eMail to is automatically added as well.

Something else I've found useful is using this system also makes your email very portable, as it uses it's own outgoing mail server. This does bring about a small problem, it uses a non standard port that may get blocked by a firewall if you use it from another companies network (If they let you?). But it also has webmail available as well, to get round this problem.

When login in to the webmail you can also check the held mail, allow list, block lists. You can also release any mail you do want, edit, remove, block individual email addresses or domains.

There will be people who don't like the challenge request, but when you are getting hundreds of spam eMails a day on an advertized email address, it may well be the best solution. You also need to block the email addresses that you are protecting, as spammers will send to your-email@your-domain.com from your-email@your-domain.com. They will also spoof the likes of eBay, Paypal as well, so allowing a whole domain can cause problems also.