Posted on February 6, 2007
Filed Under (Advice, Tools) by jennifer

According to statistics, spam represents between 90 and 98 percent of the approximately 100 billion emails sent each day. At its most benign, spam is unsolicited or junk email, typically advertisements for things you don’t want or don’t need. (Erectile dysfunction drugs anyone? How about a home mortgage? Stock tip?) At its worst, though, spam can clog or cripple your in box, infect your computer and/or network, even cause your computer to spam your friends and clients, which could get you blacklisted.

When it comes to blocking spam, basic email filters just don’t cut it.  So what’s a small business owner to do?

To find out, I spoke with several small business owners and representatives from Spam Arrest and Cloudmark, two leading spam-blocking software solutions.

You can read what these small business owners learned in “Stop Spam Before It Stops You”, on SmallBusinessComputing.com, or by visiting my Clips page, where I post all of my articles.

Although it got cut from the article, if you are on a tight budget you may want to try out MailWasher, a free spam-blocking solution that has received good reviews — and has over 7 million users worldwide. (MailWasher also has a Pro version, which is free for 30 days. Then you have to pay $37 annually.)

No matter which solution you use, or if you do not have a standalone spam-blocking solution, follow these basic online safety tips:

1. Try not to display your email address in public forums — or if you do use some trick like yourname “at symbol” yourdomain.com to fool spammers.

2. Consider separate email addresses, one for work, one for personal email.

3. Check you ISP’s spam policy/filtering system. From personal experience, both Yahoo! and Hotmail do an excellent job of separating out spam or bulk mail from good email, although occasionally a piece of “good” email will be sent to the junk or bulk folder. (GoDaddy also does a good job.)

4. Immediately delete — DO NOT OPEN — any suspicious-looking emails from your in box.

Good luck!

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