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How To Eliminate SPAM

A Little SPAM History

SPAM has become a major problem for almost everyone with an e-mail box. There is some discussion about the exact origins of the term, but most attribute it to a Monty Python skit where a couple go into a restaurant, and try to get something to eat. All there is on the menu is Spam (Spam & Eggs, Spam & Ham, Spam & Spam). In the background Vikings are singing the praises of Spam. Eventually all you can hear is the word Spam. Someone even took the time to write down every word of the skit.

Network users were becoming annoyed by people who were posting large numbers of inappropriate message to Usenet. In response to these impolite users, others started sending hundreds of copies of the skit's transcript to the mailbox of these people who didn't comply with net-etiquette. Much of the time these mailboxes would overflow with the messages. That's how inappropriate/unsolicited e-mail flooding your mailbox became known as SPAM.

SPAM has come to the point where it is not just annoying, but is costing real money. BizReport, and others, say that 40% of all e-mail traffic is SPAM, up from 8% just two years ago. With the e-mail industry growing to $1.4 billion last year, according to Jupiter Research. Unfortunately, this industry costs US Business more than $10 billion.

Is Your Address Being SPAMmed?

Once a SPAMmer has your e-mail address, you're in trouble. These people trade addresses, sell addresses, and otherwise do all they can to stuff your e-mail box with advertisements. It's therefore important to make sure that SPAMmers don't get your e-mail address. Avoid using your address in postings, web pages, etc. If you must use an address, try to use a temporary expiring address. Mainstream provides this service, as do others.

So they've got you, what do you do now?

POP-UPs, or SPAM for the Web

Many web sites now use pop-up ads. These annoying advertisements open new windows on top of the window you're trying to view. You're forced to look at the ad, and close the window. Some of these ads are even crafted to look like a normal window that your system would display, and cause you to click on them thinking you're just acknowledging a simple notice. Instead of closing, many of these pop-ups cause multiple pop-ups to be thrown at your instead.

There are a few pop-up blockers that are available. The most effective way for a business to block these ads is to use a Transparent Caching Proxy, such as that provided by Mainstream.

Software to Use

Most of the free pop-up blockers for Windows machines require a Java runtime environment to be installed. These include AdSubtract and Muffin. WebWasher is also available for free, and supports numerous platforms.


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