No Monty Python references pleaseYesterday we published some handy advice on how to avoid an inbox full of unwanted email (http://www.silicon.com/a53874). Today we present 'Spam Busting II', silicon.com readers' very own anti-spam advice. Here are five more useful hints and tips: 1. Message rules, ok?
I`m surprised my DIY spam-buster is so seldom mentioned in these discussions: setting up a message rule in Outlook Express (Tools, Message rules, Mail) called `spam`, which sends anything from defined addresses or with key words in the subject line (viagra, XXX, teen, investment etc) straight into deleted items. Then simply right-click on the folder every few days and empty it. It doesn`t stop the spam coming in, of course, but it does stop it getting in your face, which is presumably the object of the exercise.
Alan Paterson 2. Spam filtering for free...
I have found a product called `SpamWeasel` to be a fine specimen of anti-spam tool, and it`s 100 per cent free.
It comes with pre-defined rules, but does require some tweaking to adjust it to your needs. If you want to add a rule yourself then it even has a scripting language so that you can do just that. I now have it configured so that it detects and removes 99 per cent of spam correctly from my own account.
I highly recommend it, it can be found at www.mailgate.com
Eric Fish 3. Alternate email address
If you have multiple email accounts (like Freeserve) use an email like spam@domain when filling in online forms. Then using a rule you can place any email sent to that address into a different folder. In the event of something useful arriving then you can view it, otherwise once a month go into that folder and delete them all.
You can also teach a lesson by replying to the offers using msPaint as your email editor. Attach a request for more information in a 2mb attachment and the company will soon get fed-up of sending junk to you. (I got this from a client whose secretary used to print out emails and he would scan them in to reply!!)
Michael Hoffman 4. Scared of spiders?
A lot of spammers use `spiders` to automatically trawl websites for email addresses. You can encrypt the HTML code for email addresses using the tool at the following address. Then paste the encrypted code into your web pages. This does not affect the usability for your genuine web site visitors.
Iain Stansfield 5. Tracking the spammers
This isn't a way of stopping spam but you can at least tell who is passing your email address around. If you need to supply your email address and your ISP gives you unlimited mail addresses by putting email@example.com then just put the sitename before the @.
That way if you get mail sent to firstname.lastname@example.org you know that some site may be passing your e-mail address on.