Email Anti-SPAM News, Help & Advice.

Fed up of receiving SPAM, viruses, scams and phishing schemes via email?? We were - so here are some useful news articles, hints and tips to keep informed and reduce the problem!

August 18, 2004

How can we stop spam?

Everyone would love to know how to stop spam - unfortunately there is no single solution. Instead everyone needs to work together to help reduce / remove the problem.

If you receive spam:

1. Read the other tips on this web site! Remember to check the previous posts and archives!

2. Never buy from spammers.

3. Keep your operating system (Microsoft Windows etc.) up-to-date by going to Windows Update or Apple Support.

4. Install anti-virus software and ensure it is updated with frequent updates (many programs do this automatically but ensure it is turned on and we would still recommend a manual check at least once a week).

5. Download and run a one-shot virus checker from a seperate anti-virus company - Stinger works well - but remember to download a new copy each time you run it as it is frequently updates.

6. Have a firewall - if you connect to the Internet using broadband why not use a router with built-in firewall instead of the basic DSL / ADSL / cable modems. If not most newer versions of Windows have firewall software built in - make sure it is enabled!

7. Install spyware / trojan detection software - Ad-Aware by Lavasoft seems pretty good and is free for non-commercial use.

8. Install spam filtering software - see: How do spam filters work?

If you write software:

1. Ensure it is 'secure' so is less likely to be compromised.

2. Fix any bugs etc. as quickly as possible.

If you are an ISP:

1. Block outbound SMTP (port 25) from your Internet access customers - this will stop virus / trojan infected or compromised machines sending spam.

2. Use your own and public 'blacklists' to block spam from domains / IP addresses that are sending it out. But be careful to choose one that is not over-zealous - we have seen some that block IP addresses (or worse still IP address ranges) from a few unchecked reports!

3. Take strict (and quick) action against anyone using your services to send spam.

4. Install spam filtering software on your servers - ideally it is best if you can block the spam on your servers to save your customers having to download and deal with it.

August 12, 2004

Never buy from spammers

Quite simply never, ever buy from spammers!

Email is cheap / free for them to send - so they only require a very, very small response - the problem is any response proves to them it is worthwhile continuing with.

The other problem is spam is often links to other cyber crimes - often they offer things like access to restricted pharaceutics or software for a fraction of it's list price. The problem is you enter your credit card details - are unlikely to ever see anything except a load of unauthorised charges on your credit card!!

Some normal companies get duped into sending spam - people advertise (usually via spam itself!) that they will send millions of emails for a very low cost and the offer seems just too good to pass up. Spammers even offer to sell lists of millions of email addresses and the software to harvest more and the software to send spam! Avoid at all cost!

August 10, 2004

Do not reply to spam

As much as you may like to tell a spammer quite what you think of them - the problem is:

1. They usually send from invalid email addresses - either 'made up' or belonging to someone else!

2. If their address is valid - you will have just confirmed your email address is valid and you may then receive more spam!

August 09, 2004

Use anti-virus software

You should certainly use anti-virus software and ensure it is regularly updated.

Some viruses may infect your computer and many will either attempt to steal email addresses from your email program (address book etc.) or worse still may actually send out SPAM themselves!

August 05, 2004

Be careful before buying mailing lists

Some companies offer to sell you lists of email addresses. Some claim that these are pre-validated and people who have asked to receive information on the product you are selling.

Unfortunately many of these are not quite as they seem and you should ask yourself - would you give your email address to a company happy that they could sell that on to whoever they like?

This is not to say all these services are like this but we would advise you to be wary!