Thursday, October 19
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  What you need to know about spam...
Statistics show that over the past 18 months the amount of SPAM (unsolicited commercial E-mail) the average person receives has increased 6 fold. Some customers have pointed the finger at us thinking that we sold their address to spammers. This is plainly not true as we in fact spend thousands of dollars a year to combat spam for our customers.

Spam mail is as much as an inconvenience for us as it is for the customers we serve. Spam messages that you receive have to be downloaded on our bandwidth and saved on our servers. This is a huge waste of resources for us as our servers and equipment are very expensive to maintain.

The job of spam control is not 99main's to combat alone. Our customers can also help in the fight against spam by being educated in how spammer.s get e-mail addresses to begin with. Using this knowledge can help us help you; the less spam you receive the less chance a single spam will get though our filters and land in your inbox. The first thing you should know is how you get placed on spammers' mailing lists to start with. Most spammers collect e-mail addresses a few different ways:
  • Some hold contests where you must supply an e-mail address.
  • If you sign up for a newsletter there may be a statement that says "We may share your information with other companies who have products and services that you may be interested in" - this is just another way of saying that they may sell their e-mail list to another company.
  • If you get forwarded a joke or funny story you probably noticed many e-mail addresses in the TO: field. If this gets accidentally forwarded to a spammer that will add you to their lists.
  • If you post on newsgroups, your e-mail address shows up. There are spammer bots which look through messages and pick out addresses.
  • If someone sends you one of those cute greeting cards, your E-mail address is placed in a database and sold.
  • Hosting or owning a website with your e-mail address on it can get you on lists.


This is in no way a complete list on how spammers get your e-mail address but it is a list of the most common methods. Our best suggestion at this point is to either ignore/delete it or use a bona fide spam filter to help ease the problem. Some of the links listed below offer some end user methods to combat spam, some are free utilities some cost a little money to use.

Free Utilities:
http://www.mailwasher.net/ - MailWasher (Easy setup)
http://news.spamassassin.org/ - SpamAssassin (complicated setup)

Cost Utilities:
http://www.coffeecup.com/spam-blocker/ - Coffee Cup Spam Blocker
http://www.lyris.com/products/mailshield/desktop/index.html - Mail Shield Desktop
http://www.hms.com/spameater.asp - Spam Eater Pro
http://www.mcafee.com/myapps/msk/default.asp - McAfee SpamKiller
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