You create a new email address and in no time at all, perfect strangers are suddenly very concerned about you having the best credit card, the best home loan, and especially the best “bedroom performance” possible GoDaddy email login. All of these “kind” people are sending you email every day in order to be sure you are up to date with the latest in electronics, the prettiest of Russian mail-order brides, and the most “exciting” websites you could ever want to visit.

We have all been a victim of it. This thing called “email spam.” Unsolicited emails that clog your inbasket and make it very hard for you to find the emails that you actually care about. Congress has finally made some attempt to control spam, but there are still far too many loopholes for the unscrupulous to dive through in order to assault your inbox with junk email.

One of the best ways to deal with spam email is to avoid the online behaviors that cause your email address to be picked up by spammers and added to their lists. What follows is a set of rules to help reduce the chances that your inbox will fall prey to a spammer’s unwanted attentions:

Rule #1: Never allow your email address to be displayed on a website. This means that if you are active in online forums, or if you maintain your own website, or are involved in any other online activity where you might possibly post your email address, it is best to use a modified email address that a human would understand but a computer program might not. For example, instead of posting “myaddress@gmail.com”, you could post “myaddressDeleteThis@gmail.com”. A human reader will know to remove the letters “DeleteThis” but a computer program designed to harvest email addresses from web pages would find it much more difficult. However, be warned that spammers are using other tricks these days that make even this technique not as safe as it used to be.

Rule #2: When you receive spam email, NEVER click on the line that says something like “click here to be removed from our list.” In some emails, clicking such a line will in fact remove you from their list. Unfortunately, in other emails clicking on that link tells the spammer that your email address is “valid” (because someone clicked on the link). The spammer may or may not take your name off of their list, but what they WILL do is turn around and sell your email address to other spammers. Because they now have verification that the email address is a good one (because you clicked on the link), your email address brings them more money when they sell it.

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