Although the regular Mac user thinks that the viruses have a preference for Windows, having a Mac doesn’t make you totally immune to spam.
Spam is everywhere nevertheless you are using a PC or Mac, so what are the best strategies to make sure that junk mail don’t take up all of your email inbox.
First of all, the smartest thing to do is to employ anti-spam software orblockers that are able to filter some of the unwanted mail, before the spam can reach your Inbox.
You might have the best spam blockers, but preventing spam also depends on you. There are some simple tips that every Mac user must follow in order to prevent the flood of spam in their Inboxes.
First of all, users must take some precautions, starting from the simplest ones like using a complicated email username as the spammer software will look for the „easy“ addresses first. Try not to use anything like „email@example.com, as it is obvious and identifiable.
Outlook and other mail clients let you preview your message before you open it, therefore allowing you to take a sneak peak at the contents before you actually open it. If the preview shows you that the message is actually spam, it is easy to block it.
Whatever you do, never, ever reply to a spam. This means buying a product although it is temptingly on sale or just clicking on the mail because it promises you a better sex life in its subject line because buy clicking on this, you inform your spammer that you exist. Outlook spam blockers in most cases successfully block these obvious spam messages, but in case any of them sneaks into your Inbox, you can easily conclude from the subject line that the message you received is a spam (sometimes a lot of exclamation marks or all caps is a hint), just delete it, without opening.
One of the most common mistake is clicking on the „unsubscribe“ link, although you never subscribed to anything.
For the sake of friendship and spam prevention, don’t forward those „email to 10 of your friends“ messages. They help the spammers to collect email addresses, even thou the sender of the original email did not have this intent. Also, never sign and forward petitions – they are sometimes fake and just serve the purpose of collecting more email addresses for the spammers.
What also helps and it is a great trick is to disguise your email address. Just don’t put it in plain text on website if you have it. Spiders (these are Web crawlers – Internet bots that systematically browses the Internet) which browse the web to harvest the email addresses can be fooled if you disguise your email address by removing periods and @. For example, „yourname at hotmail dot com“.
Also, Apple has built into every Mac the ability to filter out spam, but if you feel that Mac OS X Mail’s built-in junk/spam mail filter is just not enough for you, then you can also add more layers of protection by using the best spam mail filters for Max OS X there are available, both free and commercial.
Some of the best spam blockers that are recommended:
POPFile 1.1.3 – Free Spam Filter – for experienced users
POPFile is still one of the best Bayesian filters and works as a proxy mail server so you can use it with any POP email client. If you choose POPFile and you are an experienced user, you will see that the setup is rather direct and straightforward, which allows you to filter spam rather efficiently as its filters are extremely flexible and it can be controlled via a web interface.
MailWasher – for beginners
For those who find POPFile too complex, MailWasher is a much more user friendly spam filter software, and it allows you to check and manage your e-mails before you download them to your computer. The aim of this e-mail application is to stop spam by letting you bounce e-mails from your POP3 server before you download them, therefore fooling spammers into thinking your address isn’t valid.
By combining the responsible mail usage and spam filters, you can look forward to the almost clean Inbox.