Friday, 21 March 2008


What do you do about spam emails? I’ve downloaded the free version of Spamfighter so it’s all netted and siphoned off into a separate spam folder. And if any slips past that net, as happens quite often with one or two, I can help other people by marking it blocked so the system will add it to the spam list universally.

However, I am paranoid about something being identified as spam when it shouldn’t be. From the word go, I checked everything religiously before emptying that spam folder. Trouble is, the more active on the web I become, the more spammers are picking up my address. The last time I returned from a holiday without checking into my email account for a couple of weeks, I had to check nearly 3,000.

I think I now get around 200 a day. I say think, because I’ve recently changed my habits and tend to kick them out as they come in. I used to do it just once in the mornings, but as the numbers grew I found it very boring.

When I’m writing or doing some research on-line, or perhaps just doing some accounts work or admin, I quite enjoy the brief break I can take when the emails ping in. But of course it could be something much more exciting than spam, like a comment on one of my blog posts, a reply in a forum, a sale at Constant Content, or a request for work which can immediately change my plan for the day.

If it’s just spam, it’s easy to deal with them right away. This is how I do it now. First I look at the addresses they were sent to. If they weren’t sent to my exact address, they get ignored. If they were I’ll look at the address they came from, and if that is an obvious spam, like a casino or viagra site, I will ignore those as well. Otherwise I might click to see the full title before scrolling down further. Then – goodbye spam. In the last six months, I’ve only found two or three that I needed to read and action, and I’m confident that nothing important has been lost.

You might think it not worth the bother of having the spam filter because they could just be deleted from my inbox. But I do find this easier because I don’t have to delete individual emails or highlight the ones to be deleted. They all go at once when I empty the folder.

Spam is a pain, but I find it manageable. What I can’t really understand is what they get out of it. Could anyone be foolish enough to respond?

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