Spokane Journal of Business

Are you back from vacation? Spam awaits

McAfee offers simple tips to help e-mail users fight back

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Dont want to return to a spam-filled inbox after a summer break? McAfee Inc., the Santa Clara, Calif.-based security software vendor, has released tips to help e-mail users unsubscribe and block unwanted e-mail.

According to research from McAfee, registering an e-mail address with just one Web site can result in hundreds of junk e-mails a week, demonstrating how easy it can be to become the target of unsolicited mail.

While todays spam filters have improved to catch a larger percentage of junk mail, the threat of spam never really goes away, says Jeff Green, senior vice president of McAfee Avert Labs. We hope that users can benefit from our tips to help in their battle against the removal and blocking of unwanted mail.

To help prevent spam, McAfee recommends that users do the following:

Dont publish your e-mail address on any Web site or discussion forum.

Use a separate e-mail address to sign up for newsletters, online postings, and trade shows. If your mailbox starts receiving an abundance of spam, you can delete the mailbox or filter it more aggressively.

If you didnt originally sign up to receive an e-mail, or if you dont recognize the sender, do not unsubscribe from the list. By unsubscribing, you show the spammer that your e-mail address is active.

If you use Web-based e-mail services, report spam to the service provider. This helps the provider determine more accurately which messages are spam.

Use anti-spam software, which blocks 97 percent to 99 percent of spam.

Keep a collection of mail you want to stop receiving and determine which e-mail addresses or phrases in the messages dont change. Use this information to keep further unwanted e-mail out of your inbox by creating filters.

Dont reply to spam. Most important, dont buy anything from spammers.

More details on the spam-busting tips are in a white paper available for download at www.mcafee.com.

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