You’ve heard the expression, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” In the internet world in which we live, there is more and more truth to that statement than ever before. Why, because of SPAM. There are billions of unwanted e-mails sent every month that fall into the definition of SPAM — you know, the stuff that offers amazing medical results and fantastic investment returns. At the same time though, there is some valuable information being sent to you that you may not be receiving. So now you might be thinking, “If it’s being sent to me, why am I not receiving it?”
The two most common ways to control SPAM are to block it before it’s sent to you, or filter it and hold it in an area where it can be reviewed before it gets to your inbox. I probably spend 15 minutes each day combing through the e-mail that has been blocked by our SPAM filter, looking for some legitimate e-mail communication. This could be a note from a reader like you or correspondence from a customer or potential, future customer — important stuff.
The other way the SPAM problem is controlled is by not sending it at all. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs), like AOL, use this tactic all the time. If AOL decides that someone is sending SPAM, then it will stop sending e-mail from that person. This is why I started with “you don’t know what you don’t know.” There are several methods used to identify a spammer, and you may play a role in one of them.
When you are going through your inbox and come across unwanted e-mail, there are three actions you can take — delete it, open it and “unsubscribe,” or hit the SPAM button. The SPAM button sends a complaint note to the ISP that can lead to this sender being blocked. If it is a legitimate piece of e-mail and you don’t want it, then unsubscribe, allowing the good e-mail to still be delivered to those who want it. Anytime you have a chance to “opt-in” to an e-mail you value, do it to ensure it will continue being sent to you. So, when shopping for a new ISP, closely review its SPAM-blocking policies.
|Like almost everyone who uses e-mail, I receive a ton of spam every day. Much of it offers to help me get out of debt or get rich quick. It would be funny if it weren’t so exciting.
– Bill Gates