As e-mail became a popular alternative to traditional letter writing, advertising companies frequently use this opportunity to tap into this potentially massive audience by sending unsolicited e-mail messages to hundreds of thousands of email users worldwide. It is understandable as advertising by e-mail is much faster than traditional direct mail because the messages reach their destinations within minutes and costs less. This type of direct on-line advertising is known by various terms, including bulk e-mail, junk e-mail and spam.
Many companies have recognized the potentional market for direct e-mail advertising services and were founded for one purpose only – distribution of the advertisements of various other commercial entities. In fact, there are companies that even sell software designed specifically to send junk e-mail.
Of course, most e-mail users have not been excited over this as the enormous amount of unsolicited e-mails or junk mails with ads were filling up their mailboxes.
Spam, also known as Unsolicited Commercial E-mail (UCE) is a huge problem nowadays for internet users. Spam mail has the form of pyramid schemes, chain letters, phone sex lines, ads for pornographic web sites, fake drugs, real over the counter drugs for cheaper price, get rich quick schemes and pyrated software.
There are several different steps you can take to protect yourself against spamming.
1) Use e-mail filters of your provider – Many e-mail providers have a filter function that you can activate for a certain price (or as a part of the package). Spam filter software will automatically go through all the e-mails you receive and only allow those that the filter does not recognize as spam. But, spammers have already figured out a way around this protection by altering the point of origin for their e-mails.
2) Install spam filtering software – There are programs available that provide a protections from spam mail entering your inbox. There are even dozens of free spam filter softwares online that you can download and use. E-mail program of your preference use the list of spamming addresses to sort through your incoming e-mails and identify those that are spam. Spam filtering softwares are more extensive than the filtering programs your e-mail provider may offer.
3) Be careful about releasing your email address – Create and provide an alternate e-mail as spammers may receive your e-mail address from information you provide at the various sites you visit. Use a secondary e-mail address when filling out information, or checking boxes, requested by sites you are unfamiliar with to avoid spammers flooding with your primary e-mail address.