Spam the e-mail equivalent of telemarketing calls is certainly annoying, but some spam can also be dangerous to your computer, to your bank account, and to your privacy. Spam may pretend to be from a company you trust in order to entice you to reveal personal or financial information (an activity known as phishing). Click a spammer's link, and you may risk downloading a virus or software that could be used to track your Web activity. And spam isn't limited to e-mail it has spilled over to instant messages (IM) as well, where it has become enough of a problem for instant messaging spam to warrant its own word, spim. What is spam? Spam in this context is unsolicited commercial e-mail (as opposed to solicited commercial e-mail; often, when you sign up on a Web site or buy something online, you agree to receive commercial e-mail). There s non-commercial spam, too. While it might be appealing to forward that funny chain e-mail message to all your friends, resist the temptation to become a small-scale spammer. Not only do you lose control over who sees your e-mail address (it could fall into the hands of a commercial spammer), but you also may be furthering a hoax or aiding in the delivery of a virus. What do I do when I get spam? Many Internet service providers (ISPs) and e-mail programs provide junk e-mail filters that can serve as the first line of defense against spam. Here are some more things that you can do to protect yourself: Ignore spam. Delete junk e-mail messages without opening them. Sometimes just opening a spam message can alert the spammer that your e-mail address is a valid one. Don't reply to spam unless you're certain that the message comes from a legitimate source. This includes not responding to such messages that offer an option to remove me from your list. Don't give personal information in an e-mail or instant message. Most companies won't ask for personal information by e-mail. If a company you trust, such as your credit card company or bank, appears to ask for personal information, call the company using a number you retrieve yourself from another source, such as the back of your credit card, a bill, or the phone book. Do not use a number from the e-mail message. Think twice before opening attachments or clicking links in e-mail or instant messages, even if you know the sender. If you cannot confirm with the sender that an attachment or link is safe, delete the message. Don't buy anything or give to any charity promoted through spam. Spammers often swap or sell the e-mail addresses of those who have bought from them, so buying something through spam may result in even more spam. If you receive an e-mail request from a charity you'd like to support, avoid donation scams by calling the organization directly to find out how to contribute. Don't forward chain e-mail messages. Not only do you lose control over who sees your e-mail address, but you may also end up furthering a hoax or spreading a virus.Report fraudulent or abusive e-mail. Report abusive, harassing, or threatening e-mail messages to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).Report phishing scams and other fraudulent e-mail to the company that has been misrepresented. Contact the organization directly and not through the e-mail you received.
File a complaintwith the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Left-click on the blue text!To forward an e-mail with the full header field enclosed using MSN Hotmail: <P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">1. Open the message, then click Options in the upper-right corner.<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">2. Click Mail display settings, then Message headers. Click the Advanced option. The message will now display all the header information.<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">3. Copy all the text and paste it into a new e-mail message. Send this message email@example.com. Left-click on the blue text!<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in"><P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">To forward an e-mail with the full header field enclosed using Outlook Express or Outlook:<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">1. Right-click the unopened e-mail message, then click Options.<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">2. Under Internet headers, copy the full content of the header.<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">3. Now open the e-mail in question and forward a complete copy of the message, inserting the full message header that you copied, to the abuse alias at the ISP the spam came from; for example, try abuse@<ISPNAME>.com or webmaster@<ISPNAME>.com. Left-click on the blue text!<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in"><P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">Be careful about sharing your e-mail. Only share your primary e-mail address with people you know. Set up an e-mail address dedicated solely to Web transactions. Consider using a free e-mail service to help keep your primary e-mail address private. When you get too much spam there, simply drop it for a new one. Create an e-mail name that's tough to crack. Try a combination of letters, numbers, and other characters: Don2Funk9@example.com or J0e_Y0ng@example.com (substituting zero for the letter "O"). Disguise your e-mail address when you post it to a newsgroup, chat room, bulletin board, or other public Web page. For example, SairajUdin AT example DOT com. This way, a person can interpret your address, but the automated programs that spammers use often cannot. Watch out for prechecked boxes. When you buy things online, companies sometimes preselect check boxes to indicate that it's fine to sell or give your e-mail address to responsible parties. Clear the check box if you don't want to be contacted.<P class=Txt style="MARGIN: 1pt 0in 1pt 0.5in; TEXT-INDENT: -0.25in">How does Microsoft protect me against spam? Microsoft Outlook increases your protection against junk e-mail. The protection level of the junk e-mail filter in Microsoft Outlook is set to Low by default. At that level it will catch the most obvious spam, but if you want to filter your e-mail more aggressively, set it to High. In Outlook, on the Tools menu, click Options. On the Preferences tab, under E-mail, click Junk E-mail. Click High to raise the protection level, and click OK. Check your Junk E-mail folder before you empty it to make sure no messages you want have been moved there. Outlook helps you keep the junk e-mail filter up-to-date. Microsoft regularly release updates that include the most current definitions of which e-mail messages should be considered junk, so check theMicrosoft Updatesite regularly to keep your guard against spam high. Outlook moves junk mail out of your inbox automatically. Outlook includes a set of built-in filters that identify junk e-mail and e-mail suspected of having adult content. You can direct Outlook to automatically move those messages out of your Inbox into a folder you specify.1 On the Tools menu, click Organize. 2 Click Junk E-mail. 3 Click the down arrow to the left of Junk messages, and click Move. 4 Specify the folder where you want to move unwanted messages: Junk E-mail (the default), the Deleted Items folder, or Other Folder to choose another folder. 5 Click Turn On to enable the feature. 6 Click the down arrow to the left of Adult content messages, and click Move. 7 Repeat steps 4 and 5 for adult content messages.Best regards/Vriendelijke groeten. Gerard Konijn. Tilburg. The Netherlands.