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One of the unfortunate troubles with having a valid email account, just as it exists with physical addresses in the real world, is the proliferation of junk mail, a.k.a., Spam or Spew. Some recipients will be more prone to Spam than others, but rest assured, at some point, almost all of us will be victims.

There are many ways that your email address can be obtained. Spammers, as they're often referred too, often employ specialized programs to either gather addresses or randomly generate them. The attack then becomes possible.

One tactic perpetrators use to confirm a valid email account is to have the victim somehow respond. It's tempting to respond to the sender entering "REMOVE" in the subject line, as these solicitations often encourage you to do in order to be "Removed" from their mailing lists. In truth, the opposite is almost always true. The attacks usually increase in volume and intensity since your address has been confirmed and possibly sold to other mailing lists. The best way, initially, to deal with these messages is to ignore and delete them.

We are often asked if there is anything we can do to cut down on spam, such as blocking senders or domains. This would be an easy solution, and would almost certainly eliminate incoming mail from the source in question. But, that is not feasible for a variety of reasons.

As the end user, you have several options at your disposal which will enable you to remedy, somewhat, the Spam issue:

1. Do not respond to Spam in any way. It may, however, from time to time, help your cause to report the problem to the Internet Service Provider of the sender, whether it be the Technical Support Department, Webmaster, Hostmaster, or Help Department; whoever you feel will listen and take action. Some good examples are: abuse@any.provider.net (this is probably the best choice), postmaster@any.provider.net (another good option), support@any.provider.net, hostmaster@any.provider.net, fraud@any.provider.net, etc.

2. There are several Mail Readers on the market, some of which are free, that will allow you to block a particular sender, domain, or both. Those known to posses these capabilities are: Microsoft Outlook Express, Lotus Notes, and Eudora Pro. I'm sure there are several other good email clients that also fit this description. Click the links below for tutorials on configuring some of these mail clients.

  • Microsoft Outlook Express
  • Eudora Pro
  • Lotus Notes
  • 3. If you're a UNIX user with a fairly good knowledge of .procmail, you can have it configured to channel mail containing specific text to /dev/null, essentially wiping it out before it's ever stored on servers. Click here for help with Procmail.

    We are currently working on advanced measures in order to be able to combat Spam more efficiently. We should have better ability to deal with this problem in the near future. Keep in mind that we are always willing to listen to suggestions and are also always keeping abreast of the latest hardware and software, that will enable us to provide the best possible service for our clients. If you have any comments, complaints, or questions, feel free to email: support@inch.com