Spam, Spam, Spam, Baked Beans, and Spam

August 16, 2007

If you have ever watched any episodes of the old Monty Python TV series, you may recognize the title of this article. It’s from a Monty Python skit. If you have never seen the skit, click here to watch it.Using the term “Spam” as a refernce to junk e-mail comes from this skit. The word spam is repeated over and over many times in the skit, just like the repetitious junk e-mail you get.

 If you’ve got an e-mail address, then you’ve got spam. In this article, we hope to give you some information and some tools for dealing with spam.

The first thing you should do is sign up for a free e-mail address from Google, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc. Once you have that, use that e-mail address whenever you register on a website whether you are buying something or just setting up an account. That way, most of the spam will go to the free account instead of your main e-mail address. Friends and business contact will send to your main e-mail address while the other stuff will go to this free account. You’ll still have to deal with the spam in the free account, but not as often. When I purchase something over the internet, I go and blow away all of the e-mail and junk e-mail on my free e-mail address so I can more easily see the order and shipping notifications.

If you use an e-mail client like Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird, etc., then set it up so that there is no preview of the e-mail. In Outlook Express, click on “View” and then click on “Layout”. Then remove the checkmark next to “Show Preview Pane”. For Outlook, it varys slightly by version, but for the more resent versions, click on “View” and then on “Reading Pane” and the on “Off”. Once you have it turned off, you will just get a list of e-mail. you can safely look at the list and delete unwanted messages. When you want to view a message, double-click on it.

If you get a lot of spam, you may want to use an Anti-Spam solution. Anti-Spam solutions look at your e-mail and then try to figure out which e-mail is spam and which isn’t. They typically move e-mail they identify as spam to a spam folder. E-mail they aren’t sure about, they typically put in a holding area often called held mail or an unsure folder. Outlook and Thunderbird have Anti-Spam functionality built-in to them. If you don’t get a ton of spam, they can help, but if you get a lot of spam, you’ll want a better Anti-Spam solution. Outlook does not have built-in Anti-Spam functionality. Anti-Spam solutions come in two basic flavors, software and service. Anti-Spam software is software you install on your system. As e-mail is downloaded to your computer, this software looks at your e-mail and moves things it thinks are spam to a spam folder. When you subscribe to an Anti-Spam service, they download your e-mail to their servers, filter out the spam, and then you download your e-mail from them.

Anti-Spam Software and services each have their advantages and disadvantages. Anti-Spam software is generally easier to set up and easier to work with, but takes more internet bandwidth, processing power, and time. Anti-Spam services, on the other hand, save internet bandwidth, processing power, and time because the spam doesn’t have to be downloaded and processed on your computer, so you aren’t waiting for that to happen. However, the services are harder to set up. And if the server used by the Anti-Spam service goes down, you can’t get your e-mail. In addition, it’s a little harder to check your held or unsure mail because you have to go to the service web site, log in, and look at it.

One Response to “Spam, Spam, Spam, Baked Beans, and Spam”

  1. […] and on our website about Spam. If you would like to check that article out, here’s a link to it: Since then, we have published annual updates to that article and wanted to do that again […]

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