Sick of Spam? Here’s an Easy Way to Stop Spam
By: Andrea Eldridge, CEO and co-founder of Nerds On Call, an on-site computer and laptop repair service company.
California, (February, 2012) – Most of us have a hectic lifestyle with work, kids and finding time to just catch our breath, so the last thing we have time for is weeding through an email inbox filled with offers for 30 percent off at a store were we bought one thing from three years ago, or daily newsletters from an online magazine touting ways to make “your life” simple. Thankfully, there are some easy ways to make email more of a tool and less hassle, with very little work.
Most email providers have an integrated spam filter, and many have additional plug-ins you can install that will use a variety of means to filter out what it deems to be spam. Unfortunately, junk messages often slip through while legitimate messages are relegated to your spam folder.
Unsubscribe: Much like the “Do not call” list, www.unsubscribe.com, is a great alternative to permanently ditch unwanted messages and filter out phishing emails and spam, which describes itself as an email firewall. It’s a free add-on that, once you download and install the free application, puts an “unsubscribe” button at the top of your inbox. Now instead of selecting all the messages that you want to get rid of and clicking delete, click the “unsubscribe” button to be permanently removed from the email list that generated the message.
There’s even a Social Monitor feature that will show you the access that Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn third-party applications have to your personal data, along with an overview of their reputation, and another unsubscribe button so that you can quickly remove yourself from apps that may mine your personal information.
Personalize it: Gmail, Yahoo Mail and AOL Mail users can consider two great free applications that offer a more personalized spam filtering solution. Sadly, these are not yet available to hotmail account holders, like many (before you send us a “how can you call yourself a nerd” email, we also suggest you have a spam-free Gmail account that you can guard like the tooth fairy’s home address).
VIP List: BoxBe is a free email filter that helps you quickly create an approved “guest” list to your inbox. Those senders on the list get into your party no questions asked. Those who aren’t are sent a message asking them to confirm that hat they’re human. If a message is unverified, it will sit in your “Waiting List” until you approve the sender or mark it as unwanted. Messages in your “Waiting List” are ranked from 1 to 10, with 10 being very likely spam. You can set up auto-approval filters so that, for example, any messages with a junk rating of 3 or lower will get automatically sent to your inbox. Alternatively, you can choose to auto-delete those messages with a high junk rating.
Filter it: If your inbox is inundated by unwanted newsletters and mailings check out the service provided by Unroll.me. Currently in beta, this site promises to find all the newsletters in your inbox and allow you to quickly and easily unsubscribe from newsletters and subscriptions you no longer want. Those you do still want will be kept organized in a daily overview format.
Start Over: The final consideration also is the most drastic: ditch your primary email, consider it henceforth a spam email account, and create a new account and vow to only give to family, friends and trusted sources of information you really do want to read. This may not work for everyone, but it might for you.