Most advice on spam centers on filtering or not placing your email addresses on websites, etc. Too late. I cannot believe that Yahoo really wants me to view email for pills and other junk with a spelling mistake in the title to get past their filters. I also do not know why there is no Hotmail (I no longer use it) option to just receive email from my contacts. How do I stop spam without any filters whatsoever? I also have a non-FIOS free Yahoo email account for only Yahoo and I get no spam. I’m starting to believe that Verizon Yahoo is sending me this spam for additional profits. Is there a way to stop not-blocked spam? Does telling the Canadian pharmacy that I no longer want their pills still result in more spam? We have CAN-SPAM for protection, but is that worthless too?
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Get rid of spam
Boy! So, I need to clarify a couple of things.
One is no, there is no way today to stop spam. Period. That is the practical, albeit frustrating reality of the nature of the internet today: the nature of email and spam.
The best you as an individual can do is to use spam filters. I know! Use the filters that are in your email program or in your email service to help train that service as to what is or is not spam.
Your ISP is not in cahoots with the spammers. They don’t want that spam any more than you do. Spam is taking up valuable resources from them as well and they would love to see that all go away. But, you can’t stop spam.
Anyone can send spam
So, the problem is of course that anybody can send email to anybody. Period.
Even if you manage to hide your email address in some fashion:
- Eventually, somebody’s going to guess it.
- Eventually, it’s going to fall into the wrong hands.
- Eventually, it’s going to end up on a spammers list and they’re going to start sending you stuff.
The CAN-SPAM act
CAN-SPAM. My understanding of CAN-SPAM is that the legalities really haven’t done that much to stop spam – or done much that you and I would consider truly useful.
In reality, it may have been used to prosecute some of the major spammers that we occasionally hear about in the news media. But the fact is spam is so pervasive, and it’s coming from so many different places on the planet, that there is simply no legal jurisdiction that’s going to be able to just “decree” that spam must go away by fiat.
The only solution to spam is a technological one. Today, that means:
- Making sure you’re using spam filters to their best.
- Using blocking when it’s available (if it’s even useful for the types of
spam that you’re getting.)
- And basically, taking a breath. Stepping away. Using the Delete key liberally and moving on.
Spam is just not worth getting all wrapped up about. It’s not going to go away any time soon. There are approaches, there are certainly technologies that could be used to make spam go away, but the problem is (once again) it requires such a global coordinated effort that it’s really unlikely for that to ever happen as well.
So, the practical reality of the situation today is that no, you can’t stop spam. The best you can do is to deal with it as efficiently as possible using technologies that you have in your hands today.
Unfortunately, those seem to be the very technologies that you resist using:
filtering and blocking. I also want to point you at an article, “How do I prevent spam and scam emails from being sent to me?” The fact is it will say what I just told you – but perhaps it will give you a couple of other ideas for other things that you might do to try and reduce the amount of spam in your inbox.
End of Answercast #62 Back to – Audio Segment
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