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Protect yourself from spam and scams

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Email Address Posting
Never, ever post your permanent email address publicly online. Posting it on a website, on USENET, or in a guest book, for example, virtually guarantees that it will end up on a spammer’s emailing list.

If you absolutely have to supply an address, or regularly participate in online forums but do not want further communication, camouflage your address in some way. You can, for example, disguise your address by writing it in such a way that humans can read it, but the spammers automated programs cannot. Odds are however that this will do little to no good.

Example: instead of JaneDoe@ISP.com, add a blank space before and after the “@” sign, or use characters e.g. JaneDoe at ISP dot com.

This is reffered to as “address munging”. While address munging does not allow for a regular, clickable email link, anyone who really wants to contact you will figure it out the proper address.

If you have a website, provide a feedback form instead of giving your email address. Additionally you can use a image to display your email address. There are also spam protection measures your network administrator should be using to keep the amount of garbage you have to go through at a minimum.

Sign up for an Alternative Email Addresses
Do not use your primary email address when placing an online order, getting a free download, or want to sign up for a newsletter or free service Get a secondary email address that you can use in these instances. You can open a free email account for this purpose at many different places. Gmail, Yahoo Mail and Hotmail are but a few examples of great free email solutions.

Reserve this email address specifically for online activity where you have to submit a email address and you just dont know, dont feel comfortable, or dont want to share your work or personal email address.  Not to mention everyone has that friend that will forward you chain letter where you have to scroll down through email address after email address of about 100 contacts with your email now in the fold forwarded off to everyone in their email address book. These emails are GOLD for a spammer.

Also, be sure to log into your free service email account on a regular basis to delete the junk mail and avoid having the account closed. If you get over-spammed, just close this account and open a new one. Odds are however any spam surge you have with the larger free email cariers like Gmail or Yahoo mail will be short lived. Do your part and mark spam as spam.

Beware the Phisher Spam
Phishing is a tactic used by spammers to scam you into giving up vital personal and financial information. Its sole purpose is identity theft.

Never divulge any personal or financial information that is requested in an email. Your bank or credit card company would never ask you to confirm or update your personal information via an email or a link in an email. Any such emails should be reported to the bank or credit card company. Never, ever click on any links in this type of spam.

Get a spam filter or spam blocker
Stop the spam dead in its tracks before it ever makes it into your inbox. Well, most of it at least. Though they are not 100% effective, anti-spam software will keep most of it out. Even if you only use the internet a spam filter will help protect you from spam.

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