SPAM! The downside to all the advantages of speedy, instant email continues to be a problem for us all. However we have now seen that efforts made by our ISP are reducing the number of emails received via the generic email addresses which we operate. Well done, Neville
Here are some tips for you to manage spam on your own computer. It will require determined attention and effort initially but will start to pay off. First of all check if your ISP offers a webmail service where you manage your email from a web page in your browser. If so subscribe to this service, it's usually free, as it lets you set options to control Spam.
Webmail services often have an option to mark messages as Spam so that in future they will automatically be identified in the subject line by legends such as **SPAM**. The webmail service may automatically divert them from your inbox or it permits you to set a rule to deal with them (more about rules later).
Both webmail services and email programs such as Outlook, Eudora, Pegasus etc. have Blacklists and Whitelists. The term Blacklist is pretty obvious, add any email address or even domain name (the bit after the @) from which you don't want to receive email and it will be blocked before download. However you may also find that some email you WANT to receive ends up being classed as Spam. In that case add the email address or domain to your White list.
Now for rules. Email programs such as Outlook, Eudora, Pegasus etc. allow you to set rules for the handling of emails. You can use these rules to move emails from your inbox to another folder if they concern a particular subject or come from a certain person. You can also use them to move messages that are identifiable as Spam to your deleted folder or even delete them immediately. Don't choose that second option, though until you're sure that genuine messages are not being treated as Spam. You are asked to tick various options by a rules wizard to complete the rule. We said earlier that the ISP can mark messages in the subject line with something like **SPAM**, so you could write a rule which said that any incoming message with **SPAM** in the subject line should be moved to the deleted folder.
Finally, if you feel competent enough you can change your email program from POP (where it automatically downloads messages for you to deal with on your computer) to IMAP where you only download them if you want to, having actually viewed them on the ISP's server instead. This is useful if you use more than one means of viewing your email eg, mobile phone, PDA, notebook or desktop computer but will only want to download them to your desktop when you get home.