SPAM (Junk E-mail)
en Español

Tips to Reduce SPAM or Junk E-Mail

PROTECT your E-Mail Address!

Do Not Respond to SPAM. Responding, even if you are only asking to be "removed" from a mailing list, can increase the amount of spam e-mail you receive because spammers know your address is active. Always be wary of e-mails, and links or pop-ups in e-mails, seeking personal information as legitimate businesses do not generally request information by e-mail.

WATCH OUT for PHISHERS. Some spammers use phishing to steal your personal information. Phishing is a term coined by Internet scammers who imitate legitimate companies in e-mails to entice people to share user names, passwords, credit card or account information. Spammers use your information to steal your identity, hijack your bank accounts, and use your credit rating. Please review ALERTS and other website information about phishing.

Avoid displaying your e-mail address in public – If it is not required, do not provide your e-mail address when filling out Web registration forms, surveys, etc. If you must provide your e-mail address, look for a box that asks if it is okay to send you offers or information. Often, this box is pre-marked “yes” and you will have to uncheck “yes” and mark “no” if that is your preference.

Read and understand the entire form before you transmit personal information through a web site. Also, check the privacy policy to see if it allows the business to sell your address. Some websites allow you to opt out of receiving e-mail from their "partners" or “affiliates”- but you may have to uncheck a pre-selected box if you want to opt out. Sometimes, this information is below the submit button or you may need to look for it.

Contact your Internet Service Provider about SPAM you receive. Internet Service Providers are now empowered to sue spammers under the federal CAN-SPAM Act and under Florida’s anti-spam law, and are taking an active role in spam enforcement.

Use an E-Mail Filter. Check options on your e-mail account to filter out spam. Consider Internet Service Providers with spam filtering and who adhere to policies and practices that deter spamming. In addition, you and your family may wish to consider purchasing commercial software that filters out many spam messages or offensive materials.

Contact net directories such as WhoWhere.com, 411.com and Switchboard.com and request that they remove your name, e-mail address, and other personal information from their databases. Simply go to the Web site, click on the "contact us" link and then request that your information be removed.

Delete your member profile from online services such as America Online. Spammers harvest e-mail addresses from profiles.

Protect your address from list members. If you subscribe to a list, ask the list administrator to shield you from outside e-mail commands that allow a third party to view names on the list.

Avoid posting your e-mail address in chatrooms, newsgroups, or on auction and sales sites. Spammers often send scavenger bots (programs that "harvest" e-mail addresses) to these sites. A high percentage of e-mail addresses posted in chat rooms receive spam, some within minutes, with the same being true for e-mails posted on newsgroups, “free” personal websites and message boards.

Decide if you want to use two e-mail addresses, one for personal messages and one for newsgroups and chat rooms. You also might consider using a disposable e-mail address service that creates a separate e-mail address that forwards to your permanent account. If one of the disposable addresses begins to receive spam, you can shut it off without affecting your permanent address.

Don’t list your e-mail address directly on a Web page, even your own. Use an alias or a secondary account that you can delete later if necessary.

Use a unique e-mail address. Your choice of addresses may affect the amount of spam you receive. Spammers use "dictionary attacks" to sort through possible name combinations at large ISPs or email services, hoping to find a valid address. Thus, a common name such as jdoe may get more spam than a more unique name like jd51x02oe. Of course, there is a downside - it's harder to remember an unusual email address.

Please Also Review ALERTS and Other Links for More Information on How to Protect Yourself Against Scams from E-mails