Two e-mail accounts could cut down SPAM |

Two e-mail accounts could cut down SPAM

CLICK AND HACKspecial to the daily
Special to the Daily

I’ll bet that every morning your inbox is loaded with a bunch of e-mails touting university degrees, online pharmacies or various offerings to improve your physique. Or, if you’re like me, you’re even getting e-mails with subject lines that make no sense whatsoever. Some actual samples from my inbox include: “Her wait an compartment cozy,” “Are comb at backtrack outright,” “Hey man cabin heterocyclic,” and my personal favorite, “Or understand by bovine.” Huh? While these may be amusing, they’re unnecessary time wasters and an unwanted intrusion. But how do the senders get your e-mail address in the first place?

Many legitimate sites that you’ve given your e-mail address make their e-mail lists available to other companies. From there, your address could go anywhere. More often, though, the culprit is an e-mail worm which crawls through websites, message boards and other sources picking up e-mail addresses from unsuspecting users along the way. How can you get around this? You often can’t, completely. But maintaining two or more e-mail accounts can go a long way. We recommend maintaining one private e-mail account that you give to only trusted family and friends. Then, establish a second that you use whenever asked to give your e-mail address online. For the second account, you can use a free service offered by Hotmail or Yahoo. Both free services include powerful filters that catch most of the junk mail. When you do submit your e-mail address online, you should take care to always uncheck (or check) the box that asks if you want to receive e-mail from the company sponsoring the site.

One obvious problem of maintaining a couple of e-mail accounts is remembering to check them both, though you probably shouldn’t need to check your “junkmail” account very often unless you’re expecting something in particular. If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can set up multiple accounts and keep the accounts separate. To find out more, use the help menu while in Outlook. Simply type “multiple email accounts” in the “Type a question for help” box. You can also contact us at the address below.If you maintain any sort of website that includes an e-mail address or a link for visitors to contact you via e-mail, then keeping your inbox squeaky clean will be that much more difficult. Fortunately, there are a variety of measures you can take. First, you can use special HTML characters instead of a traditional email address. Spiders that look for the “@” sign will not recognize the string of characters as an e-mail address.

In the code, replace the “@” with “&#64”. Most browsers will convert the HTML code back into the “@” sign so your visitors won’t be confused. Unfortunately, some spiders are smarter than this. So, you may instead want to consider hiding your e-mail addresses with JavaScript. JavaScript can be used to “parse” the e-mail components to defy the worms.If you don’t maintain your site yourself and don’t know how to implement these measures, ask your webmaster for help. Or, e-mail us at the address below.For more information, e-mail

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