mail box. I’d been choosing words to make the spam go to the deleted messages
folder but seemed I couldn’t keep up with them. I’d also tried to write back
and “unsubscribe” but then I’d get a message that said it bounced. So I found
blocking and am giving that a try. Now, does this keep the message from ever
getting into my computer or does it accept it and then delete
Welcome to the world of spam – and the never-ending battle against it.
Choosing words and blocking based on that is one approach, but as you noted
it’s tough to keep up.
In fact, it’s darned near impossible.
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I do want to start with one point: Never EVER click on an “unsubscribe” link
in email that you didn’t actually sign up for. It tells spammers that they
found a real, live, email address, and it’ll result in more spam, not less.
That being said if the email is legitimate (perhaps follow on mail from an
on-line store you shopped at, or a newsletter or mailing list you joined), then
yes, please do use the unsub link. I know it’s hard to keep straight
And while we’re on the subject, please, PLEASE, only use
any “report this as spam” button for actual spam – it’s not the way to
unsubscribe from something you signed up for and actually harms legitimate
businesses and spam fighting efforts.
Back to word-based blocking.
Spammers in particular will intentionally misspell words to bypass blocks.
If you’ve ever seen spam full of misspellings, or odd character selections,
you’re probably seeing exactly that. It’s impossible to predict all the
possible combinations of words and characters that spammers might use to get a
That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to block spam by just choosing
On top of that of course you might pick a word to block that someone uses in
some legitimate way, and you’ll miss their mail. This happens to me on
Whether or not blocking prevents mail from reaching your machine depends on
the blocking service you’re using; there are several approaches. If it’s done
on a website provided by your ISP, for example, then yes, that would most
likely prevent the mail from even being downloaded. On the other hand, if it’s
a setting in your mail program, then that’s something that happens after the
mail gets downloaded.
So what can you do? My earlier article How do I get rid of all this
SPAM?!?! discusses some of the options.